English side features U.S. international Marcus Hahmnemann
OCEAN CITY, NJ (March 19, 2008) In a landmark agreement, the South Jersey Barons organization, fronted by their Premier Development League (PDL) club, the Ocean City Barons, have formed a partnership with Reading Football Club, of the English Premier League (EPL). As part of the agreement, which was organized through Reading’s "Football in the Community Trust" program, the "Royals" will send some of their coaches to lend their expertise and help run the Barons’ youth academy camp in August. Also, Reading FC will continue to host the Barons’ youth teams during Easter weekend, as they expose the young players to some of the top facilities at one of the elite youth development clubs in the EPL.
Both of the South Jersey Barons’ Under-15 boys teams will leave for Reading on Wednesday, March 19 and will train at the club for nine days, during which time they will play against other local select teams. The paramount matchup of the trip will be a game at Reading’s training ground on Saturday, March 22 where the Barons will take on the Royals’ Under-15 academy team.
Barons U-15 Boys roster
|Cory Adamonis||Sicklerville, NJ||Washington Twp|
|Philip Barbaro||Clayton, NJ||Delsea Regional|
|Matthew Bryan||Medford, NJ||Shawnee|
|Vinny Carollo||Delran, NJ||Delran|
|Cody Chladek||Shamong, NJ||Seneca|
|Eric Cutry||Medford, NJ||Shawnee|
|Andrew Lamsback||Marlton, NJ||Cherokee|
|JT Maurer||Marlton, NJ||St. Joseph’s Prep|
|Thomas Nowlan||Atco, NJ||Hammonton|
|Jason Schwab||Linwood, NJ||Mainland Regional|
|Nicholas Tierce||Voorhees, NJ||Eastern|
|Brandon Trojak||Lumberton, NJ||Rancocas Valley|
|Derek Welsh||Medford, NJ||Shawnee|
|Robert Wiacek||Voorhees, NJ||Eastern|
|Vincent Wilson||West Berlin, NJ||Overbrook|
|Kyle Schmid||Woolwich Twp, NJ||Kingsway Regional|
|Drew Garrett||Vineland, NJ||Vineland|
|Charles Elmendorf||Medford, NJ||Shawnee|
|Thomas Niedrach||Medford, NJ||Shawnee|
|Alex Baroudi||Erial, NJ||Timber Creek|
|Seth Levy||Cherry Hill, NJ||Cherry Hill HS East|
|Keaton Goad||Medford, NJ||Shawnee|
|Edward McCartney||Voorhees, NJ||St. Joseph’s Prep|
|Kevin Savage||Woodbury, NJ||St. Joseph’s Prep|
|Neil Holloway||Reading, England|
|Byron Carmichael||Lumberton, NJ|
After Saturday’s match, the players will have an opportunity to see an important English Premier League match at the famed Madejski Stadium when the Royals host Birmingham City later that day. There will be a ceremony at halftime of the game where the Barons and Royals will exchange shirts and publicly announce the new partnership.
While this is the third year in a row that the Barons have sent youth academy teams over to Reading, this will be the first visit under the new agreement.
"The Barons have been over to us touring with their teams on a number of occasions," said Lee Herron, Reading’s Community Trust manager. "We have been very impressed with the quality and professionalism of the club and we felt that we needed to formalize the partnership."
The trip is an annual homecoming for Ocean City Barons general manager, Neil Holloway. The Reading native is a product of the Royals’ youth academy, beginning his training at the age of nine. In addition to the soccer education he received, he also spent time cleaning boots of the senior players at the club and cleaning the stands at Elm Park, which pre-dates the club’s current Madejski Stadium. At the age of 18, he traveled to the United States to accept a full scholarship at Wheeling Jesuit University in the state of West Virginia.
"I’m extremely excited, and proud, that my hometown club is partnering with my club here in the U.S.," said Holloway. "Reading Football Club has played a major role in my life. I’ve always been a loyal Royal, and continued to be since I left to pursue my soccer ambitions in the States."
Reading Football Club was founded in 1871, but did not reach the Premiership until the 2006/07 season. Last year, in their first season in the top flight, led by American internationals Bobby Convey (William Penn Charter School / Philadelphia, PA) and Marcus Hahnemann (Seattle Pacific University / Seattle, WA), they finished in eighth place. One of the highlights for the Barons U-15 players on this trip will be on Wednesday, March 26 when they will get a tour of the Madejski Stadium and will take part in a training session at the club’s indoor facility. Later, they are scheduled to have a question and answer session with Convey and Hahnemann.
"We’re very pleased to establish a relationship with the South Jersey Barons," said Herron. "Establishing a strong presence in the United States is an important part of Reading FC’s continued growth and working with a well-organized and progressive club like the Barons is very exciting for us. I am sure this will be a mutually beneficial relationship."
"This partnership is just the starting point between the Barons and Reading FC," added Holloway. "We have a great relationship with everyone at the club and we hope to evolve this into something much bigger in the years ahead."
About the Ocean City Barons
The Ocean City Barons are a minor league soccer franchise based in Ocean City, New Jersey that competes in the Premier Development League (PDL) -- the top men’s amateur league in North America. The PDL is considered the 4th level of soccer in the United States below Major League Soccer, and the United Soccer League’s First and Second Divisions. Players have the ability to compete in the PDL throughout the summer months in a professionalized setting while maintaining their collegiate eligibility. The league is the proving ground for players that aspire to reach the highest levels of the game, while providing affordable family entertainment to the Ocean City community.
Founded in 1997, the Barons are entering their 12th year of existence in 2008 and are one of the winningest PDL clubs in North America. Since joining the league in 2003, they are 52-16-16, the 5th best record among the more than 60 teams in the league. Since joining the PDL, 16 former Barons have moved on to play professional soccer, including Jeremiah White (AGF Aarhus in Denmark) who recently became the first Baron to earn a cap with the senior U.S. National Team.
They continued their tradition of success on the field in 2007 when they qualified for the PDL playoffs and the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, marking the third time in the last four years the club had achieved both in the same season. The highlight of the 2007 campaign came in the First Round of the Open Cup when they upset Crystal Palace Baltimore, a professional team from the United Soccer League’s Second Division, 1-0 on June 12 at Carey Stadium in Ocean City.
The Barons open the 2008 schedule on May 11th at home against the Newark Ironbound Express. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. For a full schedule, click here.