Bowling Green gets new UPSL soccer team
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - A new soccer team is aiming to help those interested in the possibility of a professional soccer career right here in Bowling Green.
Bowling Green Football Club will now be a part of the United Premier Soccer League Mid-South Conference Expedition Division, just in time for the spring season.
On Saturday, The Golden Lions held their first round of tryouts, which turned out almost 100 young men that ranged in age, but also from different parts of the Bluegrass.
Donald Aviles, a former Bowling Green High School soccer star spoke on his return to try out for the team.
“I’m from Louisville, Kentucky. This community has given so much to us within the soccer realm, not even on the field. But off the field. I met a lot of great families had the opportunity to get a scholarship growing up here playing at Bowling Green High School. So I think it was our turn to give back to the community that brought so much to us in general.”
Nikos Agisilaou, also a former college soccer player, now turned soccer coach also traveled from a different city to take part in the tryouts.
“I’m originally from Owensboro, Kentucky. I just like to be an advocate for them and help them out even if it’s their journey and all that. We got a lot of guys that are still in high school out here and they’re great, great players, great, great guys, great work ethic and it’s just fun to come out here and support them, support the city.”
BGFC Team Consultant, Michael Swierkosz a former BGHS soccer player, now turned coach says this is a great gateway to the possibility of a professional career.
“You’ve got so many other young kids who, who see that this is a dream for them.
Benjamin Mujcic, BGHS grad, now turned BGFC owner agrees with Swierkosz, and says, “this is for the upcoming players, players starting out as 15 years old 16-year-old’s and moving their way up to 18 years old’s, we’re just trying to create a player pathway towards a higher level of soccer, starting at a young age, working into their teenage years, and then as they become young men.”
“Our closest professional franchise was in Columbus. Now, you know 10 years later soccer has grown so much you got your Nashville SC you got your Louisville City and we wanted to show that we have a viable pathway here,” said Swierkosz.
Mujcic says, “the idea came to three years ago, we were always working on making an adult’s team, within the last six months, we had the opportunity to take on an adventure into the UPSL.”
Bowling Green High School Varsity Soccer Coach, now BGFC Assistant Coach, Craig Widener adds, “one of the goals of this entire thing is to allow some of the all of the people that are able to make this team to get them some looks at other places as well it really is an opportunity if, playing ball is something that you really want to do it gives you a little something to work for.”
“Sure, we got guys out of town. But I think everyone’s gonna really like saying, hey, I know that number seven, he’s my neighbor running around on the field. I don’t think there’s any greater joy for a community than to see one of their own killing it on this stage and hopefully on a national stage,” said Swierkosz.
The BGFC Golden Lions games will be played at The Pit at Bowling Green Junior High School.
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