Immobile, Observer Group of Companies ABFA Premier Division

Reinforcement for Hoppers

For Champion Footwear Greenbay Hoppers to make any real run at the 2011-2012 premier division title the team must improve its defence.

That has to be the main reason why officials at Hoppers have sort the services of Luke Blakely, a central defender who played for Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago USA.

Blakely was born in Britain of Antiguan parentage and is interested in playing for the Antigua & Barbuda national team, as well as the Barracudas, the nation’s professional club.

Antigua & Barbuda will play the United States, Jamaica and Guatemala in a home and away series in the semis of the FIFA 2014 World Cup qualifiers starting in June.

In the mean time Blakely will be working on his game and attempting to help Hoppers move out of that very unfamiliar spot at the bottom half of the ten-team table.

Hoppers is in sixth place after giving up 18 goals in ten games.

Only Bullets (26 goals against) at the bottom of the table, Willikies (22) and Sap (19) have given up more goals than Hoppers, the team that has placed second in the league for some four years running.

At the same time, only the three teams at the top of the table Old Road (26), All Saints United (26) and Parham (21) have scored more goals than Hoppers’ nineteen strikes.

Blakely then comes in at an opportune time for Hoppers to revamp that aspect of its game that may be causing the most hurt, its defence.

The former IIT grad believes that his experiences playing in many different environments should be a plus for Hoppers.

In two practices thus far, he likes what he sees at Hoppers.

“My strengths are my organizational and communicational skills along with my ability to possess the ball and play those air balls,” Blakely said.

“During practice I realize that they (Hoppers) have a lot of very skillful and creative players and once we are able to learn each other’s strengths then we should be a better team.”

One of those creative players is Tamarley “Ziggy” Thomas, arguably the nation’s top offensive threats who Blakely is looking forward to play with at the ARG, not just for Hoppers but with the national team as well.

“My main goal is to play for the national team and I am looking forward so much to that opportunity,” he said.

“I know that playing with Hoppers will be good for me, especially to play alongside Ziggy and the rest of the guys who I must say work very hard in practice.”

Once Blakely gets used to the climate and his teammates then perhaps Hoppers may be able to improve on its position.

Midfielder Rolston “Lexi” Phoenix has been nursing an injury and Captain George “Sowa” Dublin was out of the team’s previous encounter after three cautions.

The Dublin/Blakely combination in defence, along with a healthy Phoenix added with the ever dangerous Ziggy running down the flank may just be what the doctor order for Hoppers to get back in the title chase