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Player Interview: ECNL-RL Royal Player Given Opportunity at ECNL Dallas

Recently Dallas hosted an ECNL National Showcase for ECNL teams. Kate Rees, who plays for Sting Royal U15 ECNL RL was one of our RL players who was invited to play in the showcase joining over 10 Royal RL players in the last year who have had the chance to play in an ECNL Showcase. Kate actually got to play with the U16 ECNL team in three games where she got viewed by over 100 College Coaches.

Below is an interview with Kate on her experience with Sting Royal at the ECNL Event.

Good day Kate! Tell us about your Sting Journey so far? We hear you have come from team to team going through the Sting system, now playing in an ECNL National Event.
I made the jump at 11-years-old from a small club team to Sting, where I began to play in the Plano and Classic Leagues. A year later I tried out for a Sting Royal ECNL RL team, and I made it. I continue to play in the ECNL RL today. Throughout the changes in coaches, teammates, and leagues, I’ve always felt an air of belonging with Sting Royal. They’ve created a sense of family that I deeply admire. Recently, I had the opportunity to guest play with a Sting Royal ECNL team in the Dallas Showcase, and what an amazing time it was! I was given plenty of minutes, and felt completely embraced throughout all three games by the other girls and the ECNL coach.

You play for the U15 (08) Royal ECNL – RL team but played in the ECNL National Event with the Royal ECNL team. How did that opportunity come about?
I got to play in the Dallas Showcase because of how close the Sting Royal coaches and teams are with each other. I expressed my interest in playing in the ECNL showcase, and the coaches made it happen. I feel very blessed to have had the opportunity to play with an amazing team in such an important tournament.

This is your first ECNL National Event, How did you like it?
Playing in the Dallas Showcase as my first national event was a terrific learning experience. It was beyond fun and thrilling getting to play at a different level.

What was something that stood out to you about the Event?
Something about the event that stood out was the amount of exposure to college coaches. I knew there would be a lot, but as a sophomore still diving into the world of college recruiting, wow! The overall atmosphere of the tournament was also something that impressed me. There was an intense sense of competitiveness, professionalism, and excitement that felt bigger than previous showcases I’ve attended.

Can you further describe the connection between Sting Royal ECNL – RL and ECNL and why do you think the RL players get more chances with the ECNL here than maybe at other clubs?
The connection between the ECNL RL and ECNL Sting Royal teams feels seamless. The RL and ECNL get the chance to train with each other, scrimmage each other, and occasionally guest play with each other. Our coaches are also close, which definitely helps. Because of how the teams interact, our Royal RL girls get the legitimate chance to try out with the ECNL team if they desire.

Thanks Kate and congratulations on a great showcase! Below is a quote from Sting ECNL RL Director Nick Soutar regarding Kate and her opportunity.

” The connection between our Royal ECNL and ECNL – RL programs is vital to our players’ development and exposure as we get into the high school age groups. Kate Rees is a great leader by example. Her work rate and attitude is infectious which led to her being named a captain this year. When Kate talked to me about hoping for an opportunity in ECNL Dallas I knew she was ready to push herself to perform at the next level. Our Royal ECNL Director Ben Williams is very present at our practices and games so he knows Kate’s personality and her abilities which works great for movement between ECNL and RL. A space was available on the 07 ECNL team and we were excited to give Kate this opportunity as we have to others in the past, and will give to others in the future.”

Great job Kate and look out for more interviews with players in the future.