As some of you have heard already, I am stepping down as Emerald City Supporters FC Director this fall.
I have been so honored to serve this duty to the club and to the Emerald City Supporters. It has been a blessing to get to meet, work alongside, coach, and play with all of you. Although not every decision was the perfect one, I believe that I left the club stronger and more vibrant than it was before. We now feature more teams and players across more diverse skill levels than ever before. Because of this, we have been able to get more and more Emerald City Supporters to regularly play the sport they love, in addition to bringing more local soccer players into the ECS family. Of this, I am extremely proud.
I am happy to say that I will remain involved in helping the ECS FC Management team, so you'll certainly see me helping out at various games, fundraisers, tournaments, and other events. I also plan to keep playing myself! However, I am glad to pass the leader's torch to our next director to continue our wonderful tradition. I'd especially like to thank my wonderful coaches, managers, and admins who make up our ECS FC Management team. We could not run the club without their tireless efforts. They have my sincerest gratitude always.
It is with great pleasure that I introduce to you Cameron Ballantyne, our new ECS FC Director.
After an interview process this summer, Cameron was confirmed this July by ECS Leadership, ECS FC Management, and the ECS FC Board.
For the past few years, Cam has played with our top competitive men's team, ECS FC Black. For the first few seasons he was an on-field leader of the team and he took on the role of the team captain and manager when duty to the team called. He has featured for the Men's I team in the past few editions of the Supporters' Cup against Timbers Army FC - you might remember his long-throw leading to an amazing goal at Starfire in 2015, or his game-clinching penalty kick in Portland in 2014.
Before playing with ECS FC, Cam played Division I soccer at Gonzaga University (as a fellow alum, I say go Zags!). But perhaps even more relevantly to his new role with ECS FC, Cameron successfully served as the president of the Gonzaga club soccer team for two years after his seasons at the D1 level. His leadership helped to turn a debt-ridden club into a strong one: fiscally, operationally, and in terms of on-field results. He helped set a standard of excellence for that club as well as a strong organizational base, both of which were passed on to future classes.
In addition to all of this, two things have especially impressed us about Cam: the way he gets people to really respond positively to him, and his vision for the clubwide COMMUNITY that ECS FC can and should be. The way he gets people to respond to him will truly be a special skill for this position, and his vision inspires me as well. I am very happy and proud to have such a great leader to take the reigns and lead this club into the future.
For the next two months, I'll be helping get Cam on-board with everything - the work can be a handful, so we feel it will help to ease him in to the role. During this time, we will collaborate and share the duties and responsibilities of director. As of September 30th, I will be transitioned out of the Director role entirely. In the meantime, you may contact either of us for any official ECS FC business.
ECS FC players and fans will have a great opportunity to talk to Cameron in person this Sunday, August 7th, at our ECS FC General Members' Meeting. This will be held at 6 PM at Hellbent Brewing (21+) on Lake City Way in Seattle. I invite everyone to join us for Cam's first official event as ECS FC Director, as we discuss the current and future state of our club.
I am honored to have served in this role for ECS FC and am so happy to have Cameron following in my footsteps. I know that under his watch, our club will continue to do amazing things, and I'm very excited for our future!
Finally, I strongly encourage anyone who feels passionately about this club to VOLUNTEER your time and effort, offer help as you can, even consider taking on a role in managing part of the club administration. There is no lack of passion among our players, so please offer to put that forward to good use! Whether it is myself, my predecessor Brandon Lynch, or Cameron, the director is only able lead the club with the help of passionate, skilled, and dedicated volunteers who love this club as much as we do.
Thanks all, and see you out on the pitch,
Anthony De Simone