Pair of Players from Ireland, England Credit Hill for Luring Them to Powell
Sometimes going the extra mile is the crux.
It was an important point for Ryan Montgomery and Sam White.
Both are freshmen on the Northwest College men’s soccer team, and natives of the United Kingdom. Montgomery learned to play soccer in Ireland, White in England. Now, they’re in Powell, a town they didn’t know of a few months ago.
What brought the young footballers to NWC? Coach Robert Hill.
But Hill wasn’t the lone reason for the UK duo’s trek to the United States.
“I guess that it’s easier to become a part of Powell, because there are a lot of things that connect us,” White said.
However, it was critical that Hill did more than other coaches to win both players for his team. He went the extra mile. In return both players went thousands of extra miles to Powell. Far away from their families and friends.
“I had three offers in my email and came to Powell because of Rob,” Montgomery said. “He called me and tried really [hard] to get me, the other two coaches didn’t contact me [by phone].”
In the first game of the season this year, a match with Utah State University Eastern (a 3-0 Trapper win), Montgomery and White played from the beginning, White as a central defender, Montgomery in the center midfield. They did their best to provide a boost for a team hoping to reach the NJCAA National Soccer Tournament this fall. And the “British Power” could help to achieve this goal.
“Our team is definitely good enough to go to the nationals and win,” Montgomery said. “I’ve never seen a team joining together so quick.”
White agreed: “My aim is to win everything.” Hill called White “a big leader” for the defense, an expectation held by the veteran coach.
“Sam dominates in the air and dominates in the box,” Hill said. “He brings a sense of calmness into the back, because he doesn’t panic in pressure situations.”
White is the tallest player for the Trappers, and he towers in the backfield.
“It helps a lot,” White said. “But just to be tall doesn’t make me a good defender.”
Against Utah State University Eastern, White showed that he also has good technique, for example, when he assisted the third goal. Richard Ridlon sank a header into the net.
White often leads the counterattacks, where he wins the ball back.
“Ryan is a box-to-box midfielder who plays aggressively, never loses his head and brings a dynamic into our game,” Hill said about the 20-year-old midfielder. “He has a kind of Roy Keane role.”
Keane is an ex-midfielder and captain of British Power Manchester United, as well as an Ireland international. Opponents stand in awe of him because of his ball-winning ability. Keane is an idol in his country.
For Montgomery, the comparison is an honor.
“Roy Keane is also from Ireland, and I like his version of soccer,” Montgomery said.
He wants to play a similar version with a clean technique and hard tackling, a factor that should help prolong the campaign until the end of November.
The NJCAA National Soccer Tournament takes place in Prescott Valley, Ariz., Nov. 18-23.
That’s the extra mile for the whole team.