Nothard, Chosen for U16 Select Team
BRADENTON, Fla. – The goal at the start of every Super Y-League ODP National Camp is for the players to learn and grow while also enjoying the experience of competing alongside top players from throughout the country.
For Miramar United Elite’s Devon Nothard, the past weekend certainly lived up to his expectations. As part of a squad led by Lynn University coach John Rootes, Nothard shone defensively and was named to the camp’s U16 Select Team.
“It’s fantastic; the level of play here is phenomenal and I’m so glad to be part of it,” Nothard said. “Just being around all of these players, and the level that they’re at. I just feel happy to be a part of it.”
Nothard returned to IMG Academy as a champion, having been part of the Miramar United side that claimed the Boys U15 title last December. Led by Golden Boot-winner Alex Alexis, United put together a string of impressive performances that culminated in the club’s biggest win to date.
“I’d never won anything that big before; it was just on a whole new level,” Nothard said. “I was ecstatic; the team was ecstatic; we all just put it together. We’re coming up. We haven’t always been on that level, and it just shows when we all collaborate together our teams can come up and compete at the top level.”
Nothard’s size and ability to read the game drew attention throughout the weekend, but it was his touch on the ball and willingness to join the midfield when the chance presented it that stood out. That facet of his game allowed the team to maintain good spells of possession, and allowed Rootes flexibility in his system of play.
“That’s what I like about him,” Rootes said. “He’s big, a typical central defender, great in the air and he tackles well, closes people down well, but he does have a silky touch and the ability to distribute, and he likes to play with the ball at his feet. He gave us the ability to play out of the back. He’s got a lot of composure.”
As for Rootes, the goal of the weekend’s camp was accomplished.
“What I try to do is try to create a more professional environment that would be similar to what they would experience in college, and kind of treat them the way that I would my college team in the way that we train and prepare for the game,” Rootes said. “Hopefully it gave them a little taste of what it would be like playing at the next level.”
Nothard after scoring in their 2-0 win against Melbourne United Tsunami
(Article taken from http://supery.uslsoccer.com/ with edits for accuracy)