The Continuing World Domination of Bugeaters FC
While Bugeaters FC is definitely focused on being THE club of the midwest, their aspirations continue to expand across the world. As announced in mid-May, the club signed an agreement with Huddersfield Town AFC to work with their academy in developing talent through sharing of techniques, staff development, and eventually (one assumes) players. Jonathan Collura, Bugeaters’ President, pointed out the positive nature of the agreement. “This development agreement with the Terriers means that we are aligned with some of the best elite programs globally. It’s exciting to be able to see how a top English club manages its academy and enhance that system.”
Today, more proof emerged of the ever-expanding contact Bugeaters FC is having, particularly in England. According to The Telegraph and Argus, Bradford (Park Avenue) AFC have signed 2018 Bugeaters FC MVP (as voted on by The Field Hands supporter group), Lewis Rathbone. Bradford currently compete in the National League North, which is the sixth tier of the English system. Rathbone is originally from Manchester, England, played in the collegiate system in the United States. Bradford (Park Avenue) AFC CEO Damian Irvine seemed keen on the club’s approach to looking for talent playing in the United States. “Bradford have signed three ex-pats out of the US university system this season. We are finding that there is a lot of quality talent that is available and we are well placed to build on this as a conduit back to the English game."
Apparently Rathbone had begun training with the team at the end of last year and was awaiting clearance to begin playing in club matches. That time has now come. Apparently Rathbone isn’t the only Bugeater getting a chance in England. Keeper Jack Bennett is in pre-season at Bradford (though he’s not signed yet) and several Bugeaters’ players will be with Huddersfield visiting this month and spending time with the elite academy team.
But while the Rathbone’s chances are exciting, it is even more remarkable to highlight the success of Bugeaters FC as a target for international scouts looking for raw and developing talent. That sort of attention could be a recipe for sustainable success.
- Dan Vaughn