The recipient of the second Main St. Hooligans scholarship for the Midwest Pro Soccer Combine has been confirmed with the second round of player confirmations. Midfielder Serge Gamwayna will be returning to the state of Michigan for the combine to help further his dreams of becoming a professional. The exciting news took the Stony Brook senior, who graduates in December, a bit by surprise, “It was not really something I was expecting. It was something I talked about with Eric a little bit.”
Gamwanya’s play certainly warranted his acceptance to the combine next month. Aside from a stellar year with AFC Ann Arbor, manning the midfield in any position needed, be it box-to-box, defensive, or attacking, he starred for Stony Brook as a senior. He tied for the team lead in goals and points, with six and fifteen, respectively. It was a team that featured fellow AFCAA man Martieon ‘Moco’ Watson as the leading assist-man with seven on the season.
Playing college in New York and hailing from Norway, Gamwanya might have been an unexpected man on a roster for a side in Michigan to those who don’t know about the scouting methods of AFCAA. As Eric Rudland spoke when asked about comparisons between searching for players for AFCAA and the combine, “We evaluate the player applications for the combine the same as we do for AFC. We look at their "TIPS" Technique - Insight - Personality & Speed.” It’s four categories that the midfield man has in spades and has shown on both club and college level. The methods of Rudland do not go unappreciated by the MSH as well. “We are so thankful that AFC really takes their scouting seriously and finds amazing players regardless of their earlier experience.”
Gamwanya was stepping into the unknown, himself, over the summer. He’d never been to Ann Arbor before joining up with AFCAA. The adjustment was not harsh at all and quickly Gamwanya became stapled into the eleven. “The level of all the players is very high, the coaching staff is very demanding, and every practice…you’re learning something new. Every week players are fighting to be in the starting eleven.” The competition “got the best” out of him and that, in turn, made the entire side better as a whole.
As alumni of The Mighty Oak tend to do, Gamwanya had plenty of praise for the supporters as well. “The fans are amazing. Every game you see them out there, chanting, having the smoke everywhere, and knowing every player’s name even if you are not a starter.” He continued on, saying, “Away or home, we always had them traveling.” He gave credit to them as well traveling well to games like Detroit City, for example, saying, “you can hear the Ann Arbor fans in the background really loud.”
The foundation of the club holds its roots in the supporters, and that always rings true whenever players speak about the support they receive from the Main St. Hooligans. The generosity and faith never goes unnoticed when it comes to the support for the club, and it is never more present when supporting former players.