The Bristol Press – Central Connecticut adds 10 to its men’s soccer team

Central Connecticut State University has added 10 players to its men’s football schedule for the upcoming 2021 season, interim head coach David Kelly has announced.

The group will aim to bring depth and experience to a Blue Devils team that finished third in the Northeast Conference last spring. It was the first time the USCC has passed 0.500 since 2013, going 3-3-1 in a conference schedule only for Kelly’s first season at the helm.

Defenders Alek Bravo and Jacob Welle Smogeli join the club.

On Bravo, Kelly liked his hard-line mentality and thinks he’s a big addition to the backline.

“Alek is a tough, athletic full-back with a competitive spirit and a winning attitude. He’s had some great experiences with Weston, and he will add quality to the back line,” said Kelly.

On Welle Smogeli, Kelly will look for the Norwegian product to have an impact on the attacking side while holding the back line.

“Jakob is a great offensive defenseman. He’s got a good size and good speed, and we’ll be looking for him to be a better defender while adding a threat going forward,” said Kelly. “We can’t wait to see him in the Blue Devil’s kit.”

Erik Hjertsson, Birk Martinsen, Austin Rocke and Adriel Sanchez will be the offensive end of the incoming class, all of whom impressed Kelly individually.

Hjertsson, from Malmö, Sweden, will bring a winning mentality and a touch of goal to New Britain.

“Erik is athletic and at 6-3, he’ll be there up front. He’s quick, very clean with the ball, and can fall behind or play with his back to goal. Erik can be deployed to any of the three front positions, ”said Kelly. “He’s a goalscorer with a winning mentality.”

Martinsen, another freshman of Scandinavian descent from Norway, brings the experience of a great club from Oslo where he can show both his flexibility and his IQ on the pitch in a Blue Devils kit.

“Birk comes from a great club in Oslo and received a great education there. He is very quick, very skillful and can play in various positions. He will be an immediate offensive threat for us,” said Kelly. “We are delighted that he is joining the Blue Devils.”

Rocke, a Pennsylvania native who has racked up a fine resume of accolades in his football career, will begin his second season at CCSU after transferring from national champion Marshall University. A smart kid in the classroom, he will compete for play time right away with his proven skills and high character.

“Austin is an exceptional student-athlete who is comfortable in the 9 or 10 positions. He is athletic, he can hold the ball and is a proven scorer,” said Kelly. “Austin has a great work pace, a very professional attitude, and the kind of high character that we are looking for to move the program forward. He will compete for the time right away.”

Sanchez, another transfer, will bring his skills from Coastal Carolina to New Britain with the goal of becoming one of the top three forwards.

“Adriel is a quick and skillful offensive player,” said Kelly. “He received an excellent education at the Barcelona Academy, and he will come and compete for time in one of the top three attacking positions.”

At center, Mike Indomenico, Giulio Potente and Brian Son will join the club with varying skills.

Indomenico, a Wethersfield native who excelled at Avon Old Farms, was an All-State selection in 2021 and won a few titles with Sporting CT. His ability to read the pitch and prepare for the attack is something Kelly expects to translate into Div. I.

“Michael is a very talented central midfielder. He’s very clean in possession, has a great passing range and has great vision,” said Kelly. “He will compete right away for minutes in midfield.”

Potente, from Florida, will bring his technical style of play to New Britain as he aims to return to 100% after a knee injury.

“Giulio is a talented playmaker. He’s technical, has a wide variety of passing passes and can run the show in the middle of the park, playing like an uncommon forward or a false 9,” said Kelly. “Giulio is recovering from a knee injury so he will need some time before he can use his quality to have an impact on our program.”

Son returns to Connecticut after a season at the University of Vermont, where he started in six games and helped record five clean sheets. The Glastonbury native will feel right at home in the state where he won a state title in 2018, joining a club where Kelly has a chance to make an impact right away.

We’ve known Brian for a while, and he’s been one of the most talented contenders to come out of Connecticut for years. Brian is quick, technical and very, very clean with the ball, ”said Kelly. “We expect Brian to come and order a seat in the center of the park.”

Daniel Wilmore is the latest rookie, transferred to CCSU as a junior goaltender for the Blue Devils. The native of Frisco, TX is from Div. II Fort Lewis College where he appeared in two games, serving primarily as a substitute, recording three goals-less saves.

Wilmore went on a 36-game unbeaten streak with 21 shutouts at Centennial High School. Wimore’s experience is something Kelly loves, and her skills add to her value.

Daniel Wilmore is a very talented goalkeeper with great technique and great athleticism. He already has a great college experience and should compete for a few minutes upon his arrival, ”said Kelly. “We are very fortunate that he chose to come to Central.”

Martinsen, Rocke and Sanchez are also expected to be both attackers and midfielders for the club. As for the incoming class as a whole, Kelly believes it complements last year’s class while proving that the program is committed to attracting technical and skilled players who will take the program to the next level.

“This is a class that builds perfectly on the large class from last year. We have added 10 outstanding student-athletes to the program (six freshmen and four transfers). This class reflects our commitment to recruiting highly technical and athletic players, who fit perfectly into our vision for the program, ”said Kelly. “Most importantly, we have recruited 10 young men of high character who are committed to our pursuit of excellence. They will join a team that has demonstrated unwavering determination. Each of these new Blue Devils has the potential to compete for minutes right away, and several could win starting roles.

Kelly thanked her coaching staff for helping bring the team together and highlighted her enthusiasm for the Aug. 31 season opener on the road against the University of Rhode Island.

“I would like to thank my assistants, Shane (Recklet), Olgert (Dalipi) and James (Perkins) for their hard work and dedication in organizing this exceptional class. We can’t wait until August, ”Kelly said.

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