Coach Brady Eichhorn-Hicks talks about the process of recruiting soccer players from overseas
By: Billy Brouillard
Coach Eichhorn-Hicks has been recruiting overseas players for the men’s soccer team for roughly six years.
Eichhorn-Hicks realized many junior college teams had a few players from overseas on their roster.
He himself played soccer for numerous years overseas and knew someone who had a recruiting company in Scotland.
This recruiting company said there was a player that would be a good fit for a junior college team.
“We had a guy in the area that always rented out rooms to local soccer players, we moved him in there, this kid came in, and it was a huge success,” Eichhorn-Hicks said about Anoka-Ramsey’s first international player.
Eichhorn-Hicks brought in a few more players the next year and even brought players all the way from Australia.
“We started looking at international recruiting companies and Australia was one that we found. They sent us videos. If we liked the videos we would ask for more information on the players,” said Eichhorn-Hicks.
Recruiting companies set up Skype calls with the players and their parents. The players have to send their transcripts over and get them certified through the school and they need to have the required finances to come over.
Anoka-Ramsey cannot give any scholarships out to the players because it is a Division III junior college. Tuition is low here, so it is still generally a better deal to play for Anoka-Ramsey than other schools.
For the 2017 season, the men’s team will have recruits from Australia, but in past years they were from England, East Africa, and Ukraine. Recruitment depends on which companies reach out first.
“If we find one player that we like from one company they will generally have another couple kids. Then it’s easier to put them together. There is no rhyme or reason to why we have gone to different countries to find players it just tends to go in pockets,” said Eichhorn-Hicks.
Eichhorn-Hicks said it is important to have Minnesota players on his team as well.
“I think it’s our responsibility as a Minnesota junior college to have as many Minnesotan players on the team as we possibly can” he said.
According to the 2016 team’s roster, only two players were from Minnesota.
Next year Eichhorn-Hick is recruiting some international women’s players, which isn’t as common as recruiting for men’s teams.