Texas State does not have a collegiate level soccer team for men, however the men’s club team has lots to offer for interested players.
For the male population of Texas State, joining a collegiate soccer team is not an option. In order to play soccer, they need to go to the men’s soccer club.
Joseph Gillis-Harry, soccer club president, looks for more than just skilled players. The team actively searches for individuals who are passionate about the sport.
“Beyond skill, we look for people who are just out here that generally love soccer,” Gillis-Harry said. “If you’re out here treating it like something you have to do, then it’s not fun. We look for people who have a natural love, natural talent and can fit into the group we already have.”
Gillis-Harry is in his first year of being club president but has been a member of the team for two years. In those two years, Gillis-Harry has seen much growth in popularity among fans and those interested in joining the club.
“From the time I started playing, I’ve seen way more people showing up to our games, way more people looking to try out for the team,” Gillis-Harry said.
Despite an increase in potential club members, there is only a limited amount of positions available on the team. Only a select few are chosen each semester.
“This year we had seventy-something people try out,” Gillis-Harry said. “We normally take about the best 10 or 12 people from that group, so it’s really competitive.”
Being a club sport provides certain freedoms and experiences that school associated sports teams do not. While still highly competitive, the team takes a looser approach to play, making fun a top priority.
“I feel like one of the perks is we get to do more things together and just generally have fun with it,” Gillis-Harry said. “We kind of treat it like it’s a bunch of guys who generally love playing soccer. We’re out here to do what we can do without way too much intensity, way too much pressure.”
Bonding is essential in team sports, it helps to put players in synch with each other. The men’s soccer team has its own way of accomplishing that.
“Everyone I know that plays soccer also plays FIFA, so we all gather at one of our places, play some FIFA and get to know each other like friends would,” Gillis-Harry said. “That’s pretty much what we are, just a group of friends out on the pitch playing the sport that we love.”
Gillis-Harry stresses that although it is fun and loose, playing with the club is still hard work.
“Going out there and playing is intense because we’re out here in the heat, you’re having to put in 100 percent, anything for the team to win,” Gillis-Harry said.
Several games into the 2017 season, the team shows great promise and the captain sees the potential for the team to make some noise.
“I think this year’s team is the best we’ve had yet,” Gillis-Harry said. “A great attack, all-around solid defenders. We have a really good team this year.”
Gillis-Harry has high goals for this year’s team but understands that there are still obstacles on their march to the finish line.
“Our big goal is to go to regionals and hopefully go all the way,” Gillis-Harry said. “Win our division, our championship.”
Most former athletes credit the sport they played as one of the things that prepared them for life. Gillis-Harry credits the sport for helping him get ready for the next phase of his life.
“Whenever you play on a sports team you’re used to working with a team, you have to move as a unit,” Gillis-Harry said. “I feel that’s what the rest of our lives is about, being able to work with everyone beyond our personal circle.”