Fort Myers, FL-Black Watch Premier (BWP) and the Lee County Strikers, a long-standing youth soccer club in the Greater Fort Myers area, have come together to form BWP Lee County Strikers.
The technical roll-out of the Club's operations will begin this Spring, and will roll right into the trial season in May of 2019. The Club’s mission and operating principles are “player-centric” in nature and are focused on a player’s development, both on and off the field, player and staff education through high-quality coaching education, and developing a culture conducive to overall development. "We are so fortunate to have the opportunity to work together with Jesse Cormier again and the leadership team in place at Lee County Strikers," stated Director of Programming Steve Freeman who is also a public elementary school teacher for the past 20 years. "Lee County Strikers has a long-standing history of competing on the state-level for both girls and boys. I can remember growing up in Tampa, and Lee County having teams competing," stated Freeman.
Lee County President Jeff Richards and the Board met with Freeman, and began a dialogue that led to the integration. "Working with Jeff, Pam, Stewart, Jesse and Cip was an absolute pleasure. Their forward thinking and care that they give to all decisions related to the members, families, players and staff is incredible. I believe we share the same philosophies from a teaching/understanding the game, technical standpoint and administrative/operations standpoint.”
BWP will take over the administration and operations of the Club and its day-to-day operations. BWP has a 23-year track record in the Capital Region of New York and Burlington, Vermont of creating a “player-centric” environment. Over 500 graduates of BWP have gone on to play collegiately, over 130 have competed at the Division I level, 3 have played MLS, 9 have played for the US Youth National Teams and more to come. “Getting people in their optimal position to effectively support the culture and mission of the Club is one of the main objectives. This is a commitment to the community and we will make sure that it is cost-effective (cost matches product), all children of the local community will have access no matter their socio-economic position, as well as ability. Programs will be created to meet the needs of all players having the desire to create BWP Lee County Strikers as the best place to be to grow as a soccer player in the Southwest Florida,” stated Freeman. “This relationship will hopefully grow in natural and organic ways that will add benefits to all Club members.”