A couple weeks back I ran a story on John McLelland, the Technical Director of the Jacksonville Youth Soccer Club (JYSC).
The purpose of the story was not to draw fire to John or JYSC in particular, but to raise a bigger question about coaches and their qualifications in the States: "Blokes with accents and track suits" is a commonly uttered phrase over here.
After an lengthy chat with Steven Mail, President of the JYSC, and some follow up emails I did something I hadn't ever done on the CRO: I pulled the story. It was quite clear from our talks that this was simply a case of volunteers without enough time just not paying attention to what they were posting up.
These guys are our kind of people, to be sure: "We might be in Florida but three Scottish coaches and a Glaswegian Club President give us strong Scottish ties. The only tragedy is our club colours are green!"
Basically, if they want lions for the weekend, we'll give them to'em. (And we might help them get out of these colors and into something easier on the eye.)
An interesting note arose from the talks: the JYSC U14 boys team is planning a trip to Scotland this July, playing in tournament hosted between Rangers' and St Mirren's facilities. So what we're going to do here at the CRO (and we hope you'll aid if you can) is help the JYSC raise the rather substantial chunk of change they need to take a team of teenage lads across the ocean to play some football.
We'll have more details soon, but their estimate for the cost of the eight-day trip is around $20-25,000, no small chunk of change for an independent youth club in these still-shaky economic times.
And just for giggles, here's some of their U13 girls with the Scottish national teams last year in Jacksonville:
Click to make them big like.
So stay tuned for details on this fundraiser for an exceptional cause. We should have them sorted out soon.
And Mon the JYSC!