The Ocean City Nor’easters are proud to announce the formation of a women’s team to add to the club’s mission of developing soccer players for the next level. The Ocean City Nor’easters Women will compete in the Eastern Development Program (EDP) u23 Women’s Premier League beginning in the summer of 2016. The team is the latest addition to the growing Nor’easters club that sees the development of the women’s team as a big step for the club itself, the league, and women’s soccer players in the state of New Jersey.
The growth of women’s soccer all around the world has been vital in the decision to add this new branch of player development to the Nor’easters family.
"As a franchise, the Nor'easters have been one of the top men's amateur teams in North America and have provided the opportunity for male players to reach the highest levels of the game,” said Ocean City general manager, Kevin Nuss. “Now, with the success of the US Women's National Team, the growth of the National Women's Soccer League and the abundance of talented female players in the state of New Jersey, it only made sense that we offer the community the highest level of women's amateur soccer and help elevate female players to the professional game.”
The development of the women’s team is also significant for the community in Ocean City. It is a significant step in making advancements in women’s soccer and sports as a whole.
“More importantly, we are committed to being a contributing force in the community,” added Nuss. “The addition of a women's team helps establish positive role models for young girls, both on and off the field.”
With the introduction of the Nor'easters Women, the club is also proud to introduce Bill O’Neill as it's first head coach. O’Neill is currently the head coach of the women’s soccer program at Bryn Athyn College near Philadelphia. He brings more than 30 years of soccer experience to the team. He started all four years as a player at Rowan University and was the team captain during his junior and senior seasons. He captained Rowan to the NCAA Division III national championship in 1990 and went on to play professionally for the USL’s Philadelphia Freedom.
O'Neill is eager to begin the process of building a roster for the inaugural season and wants all of the players to grow, not only as players, but as people.
"I am hoping to provide guidance to all the women in the program with the skills to be successful on and off the field,” said O’Neill, who is a member of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Soccer Hall of Fame. “Understanding that desire, dedication and determination will be necessary characteristics to achieve your goals in soccer and after soccer."
The format for the 2016 season of the EDP u23 Women’s Premier League is being finalized and will be announced in the coming months. The 2015 season featured the area's top teams like the FC Copa, TSF Academy Manhattan Pride, Jersey United and the league champion New Jersey Wildcats. More information about the EDP can be found at www.EDPsoccer.com.
Like all of the other teams under the club’s umbrella, the Nor’easters Women will train and play their home games in Ocean City, NJ. Training for the upcoming season is scheduled to begin on May 13 with an eight-game regular season schedule concluding in August. Tryouts will take place in March, with more details to announced in the coming weeks.
For more information on the Ocean City Nor'easters Women or to "Follow the Storm", check us out at www.oceancityfc.com/followthestorm or text "FOLLOWTHESTORM" to 22828 to join the "Storm Watch" e-newletter.