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Breaking: Bethlehem re-sign James Chambers

Feature Photo courtesy Bethlehem Steel FC Communications 2018

 

Bethlehem Steel FC have re-signed 31-years-young captain and starting defensive central midfielder James Chambers for 2019. In his conference call a few hours after the club announced the captain’s re-signing, Bethlehem head coach Brendan Burke informed the media that Chambers’ new contract was for one year with an option for a second.

Chambers is the only player who has been with the club since its debut 2016 season.

He personifies sporting director Ernst Tanner’s older player “yeast” needed to “rise” Bethlehem’s 16-to-22-year-old roster dough. In his comments on the captain’s return Tanner said, “we look forward to having him as a role model on and off the field once again.”

Last season in a long podcast discussion with Union staff writer Adam Cann, Burke discussed how Chambers brings accountability to his younger teammates. He said, “re-signing him was our top priority this off-season,”

An influential member of the Philadelphia Union organization spoke most warmly last October about the Irishman’s play and leadership on both the game and practice pitches. He also said Chambers had done an excellent job working with the U11s of the pre-academy this past year. “You can’t B. S. a six-year-old,” the Union member asserted, and apparently Chambers does not.

After the playoff win in Pittsburgh, head coach Brendan Burke called Chambers a “coach on the field.” The phrase makes at least three Bethlehem beat writers laugh, because when one of us used it after a cold day outside last February the captain was having none of it.

With a well-mannered smile, he was not a coach, thank you very much, he was a player, and he intended to continue to be so for more than a few years, should health and opportunity permit of course.

And yet it is so obvious to this old schoolteacher that on a practice field the man is not only playing but also teaching at every opportunity. He did it during games back in 2016 when Ryan Richter was captain and has never stopped.

Bethlehem’s captain will be back this year, playing, instinctively teaching, and thoroughly enjoying doing both.

One Comment

  1. Good move

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