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    Florida Premier FC is heading to the girls’ Elite Clubs National League finals

    By Aileen Hnatiuk,

    26 days ago

    LAND O’ LAKES, Fla. (WFLA) — Former Tampa Bay Rowdies head coach and current Florida Premiere FC head coach, Stuart Campbell, is taking his team across the country to Washington to compete in nationals in just his second year with the team.

    The 2009 age group of Florida Premier FC is heading to the girl’s Elite Clubs National League finals in Seattle.

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    “It’s definitely a learning experience for all of us since this is our first year making it to nationals and I think we’re all going through it together at the same pace and everyone on the team as friends, so it’s just playing for each other and making sure we’re working hard every day,” Florida Premier FC player Madi Fernandez-Geddes said.

    One of several club teams from the Tampa Bay area to reach their respective nationals, this team is unique.

    Campbell played in the English Premier League and got into coaching here in the U.S. He started coaching girls soccer after he and his wife had their daughters, and never looked back.

    “My oldest is 25, my middle is an 18-year-old who just graduated, and my youngest is 16, so I know the distractions they come up against. It opened my eyes and reminded me of stuff you take for granted about coaching and breaking it down to the players and to see them improve is a coach’s dream really,” Campbell said.

    “He taught us a lot throughout his practices, and I don’t think we would’ve made it here without him,” Fernandez-Geddes said.

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    It wouldn’t be possible without the support of their parents.

    “My dad is my biggest supporter. He always encourages me and is the same with my mom. She comes to every game of mine. It’s really important for me that they do that,” Florida Premier FC player Bryce Ruggeri said.

    It’s also important to coach Campbell that he cultivates relationships with his players, and they see him as a role model, without a doubt.

    “Hopefully, I give something back a little bit of my experiences, good, bad, and different, and look back and try and pass that along and hopefully they can take something from that,” he added.

    Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

    For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to WFLA.

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