The Kearny Scots are back and ready to take on the Eastern Premier Soccer League
Soccer Town, in the United States, adds a new chapter to its history.
The Kearny Scots Athletic Club, which was established in 1931, returns to the semi-professional level after more than 50 years of competing in amateur leagues after joining the Eastern Premier Soccer League for the coming season.
Team organizers hope to replicate the success of the former Scottish team which won five consecutive American Football League championships between 1937 and 1941.
“We will take a similar approach to the Scots of decades ago, developing players who move towards bigger and better things and partnering with organizations within football clubs and professionals around the world. whole, “said Marin Frasheri-Gjoca, team manager. technical director. “The objective is to become a trampoline so that local players can evolve and go and play at a professional level.”
The Eastern Premier Soccer League has 25 teams from Virginia to Massachusetts, divided into three divisions. The league, which is non-profit, allows teams to be promoted or relegated, leaving the future of each club to be decided based on their sporting merit.
Kearny Scots players will not be paid, but the team will operate as a for-profit organization and plan to open a team store and concession stand during home games. The Scots have also partnered with sponsors to help cover pitch rentals, uniforms, equipment and costs.
“The players play because it is a good opportunity for them to continue their career and gain visibility,” said Frasheri-Gjoca. “Over time our goal is to pay the players as we grow as a football club.”
This version of the Kearny Scots may be new to semi-professional football, but their goal of getting back to that level has been on the Scottish club’s mind for years.
âWe’re all born into the game and are fans of the sport, and when we got in touch with Marin, who had a serious plan on how to bring the Scots to the next level, we were all looking forward to this day. “said Andrew Pollock, president of the Scots Club and president of the team’s football operations.
The club’s history dates back to the 1870s, when Scottish immigrants were invited by Scottish millionaires to work in the mills, most notably the Clark Thread Co., in the West Hudson area. Thousands of people have left their homelands and created a Scottish community in Kearny, bringing their brand of football with them.
Since then, football has been the one constant – no matter how much everything changes – over the years. The city produced former United States national team stars Tony Meola, John Harkes and Tab Ramos, who put football back on the map in the United States in the early 1990s, when consensus among audiences American sportsman was that the sport would never spread here.
âGenerations of Scottish families play football and the grandchildren and children of immigrants still run the youth leagues and football in Kearny today,â Pollock said. âFor today’s Scots Club, they may not all be of Scottish descent, but their stories are the same as ours. Scottish football history in America has come full circle, families are immigrating to the community and continuing to play the game they love, and we are delighted to see our new Scots play.
While the new Kearny Scots may differ from the original, the team intend to celebrate its story, which could arguably include the three straight American Football Association championships that Clark Thread Co. teams have won. 1885-87.
âThe Scottish club connects through lore and history. It’s important for us to bring this to the fore in EPSL as well and try to bring it to fruition as we continue to the next level, âsaid Dave Reichers, team communications director. “The history of the club’s tradition and how it relates to the town of Kearny is the basis of why we wanted to bring the semi-professional Scots Club back.”
The team is preparing for the 2021-22 season and trains Tuesday through Friday every week. Most of the list has been completed along with the hires of an analysis department, goalie coach, coaching staff and head coach William Mera-Orozco.
The roster is made up mostly of former college players, high school stars who didn’t make it to college, and seasoned players looking for a second chance. For the most part, the players come from North Jersey and New York; However, the Scots have a player with local roots, Lautaro Sosa, a Kearny native who played football at Kearny High School.
The Scots are expected to play their home games at Kearny High School, but are currently awaiting final city approval. There will be no charge to the fans, officials said.
âFor our first season, we don’t charge the ticket price because we want to try to build a fan base and get as many people from the community as possible to attend the games. What we plan to do is have a donation bin where fans can donate to the team if they wish, âsaid Frasheri-Gjoca.
With the support of the city and members of the Scottish club, the team hope to play an important role in the community.
“Everyone has really supported us, many club members are cheering us on and wishing us good luck for the season,” said Frasheri-Gjoca. “Our goal is to be an energetic and fun time that draws the community in, allowing them to have fun in our games and use their support to help our club.”
While the team are yet to experience their first corner kick, Scots Club have their sights set on a bigger prize.
âOur short-term goals are to be competitive in the first year and accelerate the second year and be more successful,â said Frasheri-Gjoca. “However, we have a long term strategy in place where my goal is to try, in 5 to 10 years, to get us into a low level professional league of the National Independent Soccer Association or League One of the United Soccer League. “
âThese two leagues are only two or three levels below MLS, and we think one day we can get there. “