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COB soccer players to play in pro league

Published: May 15, 2012

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Two first-year College of The Bahamas (COB) student-athletes have accepted invitations to compete in an elite, international soccer league as members of the Texas Dutch Lions. Perry Perez Brooks and Valdere Murphy flew to Houston, Texas this past weekend to compete in the month-long Super-20 Pro Soccer League.

“This year, we had a strong core of freshmen soccer players; Valdere and Perry are part of the core we hope to build on for the future,” said COB Athletics Director Kimberly Rolle. “These are the kinds of opportunities that we want our student-athletes to be involved with, so their experiences and exposure can assist us with developing our program. A great deal of credit has to go to the men’s and women’s soccer coach Vandyke Bethel. He has worked tirelessly with these young men over the past year.”

In the Super-20 Pro Soccer League, 17 to 20-year-old soccer players compete on some of the best North American soccer teams. Bethel is elated that two COB students are among them.

“The game is the best teacher and we expect that these players will come back and be leaders in our program. Going forward, I will look to build a relationship with the Lions FC. I believe, this can bring good opportunities in the future for both the men and women’s soccer programs,” he said.

The college’s soccer program reached a new level of development recently when the men’s team played the Turks & Caicos’ 22-and-under team right here in The Bahamas. The two-day series ended 1-1. Perry Brooks and Valdere Murphy are excited to train and compete internationally.

“This past year training with Coach Bethel and the team has well prepared me for this day,” explained Murphy, a left-wing player, and a law and criminal justice major. “Waking up for 6 a.m. practices and the discipline that goes into preparation has assisted in my development as a player.”

Brooks, a right wing/striker and an architecture major added: “This opportunity means a lot to me because the exposure and high level training can only help with my

progression in soccer. Playing with COB this past year, has helped tremendously because the consistent training sharpened my skills and made me a stronger person and player.”

Both players are expected to report for pre-season practice with their new teammates, the Texas Dutch Lions, in short order. The Soccer Under-20 Pro League begins on Saturday, May 26 and ends on Saturday, June 30, 2012.

In 2006, the College of The Bahamas’ Athletics Department launched its soccer program. Six years later, it has developed into a credible part of the college’s athletic program. The men and women’s varsity teams compete against overseas colleges and universities in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Sun Conference, and also play in the local Bahamas Football Association (BFA).

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