Men’s Head Coach Ryan Sniegoski recently announced the acquisition of midfielder Kieran Whitehead to Florida Southern.
Whitehead is a midfielder from Birmingham, England and he is set to join FSC as a freshman for next year’s soccer campaign.
In England, Whitehead was the captain for Worcestershire County’s football team, and also served as captain for Worcester City FC every year he was there.
According to the press release, he was unanimously voted the Players Player during his time as a member of Bromsgrove Rovers FC. He has also played for Cheltenham Town FC Under 15’s and Cheltenham Town YTS for two years at the Under 16’s level.
“Kieran understands the game and he has also played at a very high level for a while now,” Sniegoski said. “I think Kieran will bring a bit of maturity to our team and a bit of savviness that will help our team immediately.”
Under Sniegoski’s tenure as coach, the Moccasins have earned three more wins following their previous season. They have also increased their scoring by nearly 0.5 more goals this year and given up around 0.6 less goals from last year.
FSC defender/midfielder Clay Clingerman believes that Whitehead will only serve to add on to their improvement as an active part of their defense and their offense.
“From everything I’ve heard about Kieran he’s a box-to-box guy, and that means that he’s going to be doing a lot,” Clingerman said. “However, scoring goals is an art and it’s just a gift that some people have. I believe that scoring a few more goals would have helped us out certainly. But a midfielder plays a big role defensively as well as offensively.”
Graduating co-captain Luke Jenner also sees the potential in Whitehead.
As a midfielder who is also from England, Jenner believes that Whitehead will bring an international energy that will help the team take the steps towards a successful season.
“The addition of foreign players to our team will only benefit us as we continue to progress,” Jenner said. “Kieran has an excellent playing background in England and is expected to make a big impact in the fall for Florida Southern.”
Clingerman also believes that the coach has changed the atmosphere by bringing in players like Kieran this upcoming year. He credits their improvement to Sniegoski’s emphasis on competition.
“Practices are a lot different now,” Clingerman said. “You’re not fighting for your life, but you’re definitely fighting for your position. The new guys that come in just bring the intensity level a little bit higher. I believe that Kieran will be one of those players who bring a level of competition that only makes us better.”
There have been six announced signings so far with others possibly going to be announced throughout the spring.
Whitehead will join Jimmy Oatman, Mark Swearingen, Daniel Moore and twins Carl and Edward Spansk as new members of the Moccasins soccer team.
However, Sniegoski emphasized that Whitehead will just be another recruit who will have to work hard and prove himself to the team.
“Kieran is one of our many talented incoming players,” Sniegoski said. “Incorporating this exciting new group into our already talented team will be my biggest challenge. The competition within the team will be at an all-time high and should create some exciting soccer this upcoming season.”