This article was originally published on wdef.com.
Chattanooga-(WDEF-TV) In less than two months the Chattanooga Red Wolves will be playing their first season of professional soccer in the USL League One.
They held the club’s first ever practice session over the weekend, and on Tuesday, they introduced the team at a media event in downtown Chattanooga.
Said Red Wolves GM Sean McDaniel: ”You know a new era begins today. Professional soccer is here.”
And head coach Tim Hankinson believes he has recruited a Nick Saban type roster for the Red Wolves inaugural season.
Said Hankinson: “Every player we picked has played at a higher level than league one. And therefore, they bring experience of winning at a very competitive level, and we expect that to translate into victories.”
Said Red Wolves player Steven Beattie:”We were all there for the first day of practice Saturday. I wasn’t sure what to expect with the guys. I haven’t been playing in America in eight or nine years, but I’m pretty impressed. These guys are good.”
Said teammate Richard Dixon: “To see a team like this in the inaugural season. Signing so many talented and experience players. It just shows you the ambition and the goals the club have.”
Said teammate Colin Falvey: “I think when the games get rolling and the community gets to see these guys actually do what they do best, I think it’s going to open up a lot of eyes, and generate a lot of excitement in this city.”
While it’s a start up club, Hankinson says the number one goal is to win the league title.
Said Hankinson:”I’ve never believed that an expansion team has to go through years of getting their heads beaten in. If you find the talent, and you identify the talent. You have the budget. Then you piece it together in year one.”
And as you can hear by the accents, there’s plenty of international flavor on the Red Wolves roster.
Reporter:”Give me one word or one phrase that’s popular in Jamaica, that would sound pretty cool if I were to use it in Red Wolves highlights.”
Said Dixon:”Irie. Everything irie means everything is good. Everything is okay. So in Jamaica, we say everything is irie.”
Said Beattie:”Oh you put me under pressure there. Um. Hopefully when I score, just say the Irish lad has done it again.”