Wheeling, W, Va. (WTRF) – The Highlanders FC continues to have a very impressive and undefeated season. It has its sights set on its first Ohio Valley Premier League Championship in just its second season. Its roster is full of many local collegiate soccer players including striker Richie Afolayanka who seems to score at least 1 goal in almost every match.
“I’ve had better chances to train with collegiate players instead of just staying at home and doing nothing all summer so this is a big step for me heading in to the Fall season so I can try and help my college team which is my main goal for the Fall season,” Afolayanka said.
It’s not just the Cardinals represented in the Ohio Valley. Of course, the West Liberty Hilltoppers offer some talent as well including midfielder Vitor Otsuka. He’d love to get the monkey off his back and win a league championship before returning to the Hilltop.
“It would definitely boost my morale and motivation especially going into my junior year right now. I’d feel like more of an experienced guy and more mature as well,” Otsuka said.
He also said that the team is a place that he will continue to spend his offseasons with in the near future.
“I think that coming here and playing here with this team makes me develop quite a bit. I wouldn’t have developed in the past four years so whenever I do come here and I feel like a better player every time that I step on the field,” Otsuka said.
Both players, like many others on the team, hail from overseas which Afolayanka is a fan of.
“We mix different kinds of talent and training. Everyone has training from different backgrounds which is something that has really, really, helped us because if you mix different kinds of stuff together you’re going to get an amazing product,” Afolayanka said.
“We’ve seen them from last year and they had a great experience playing for the Highlanders and I just think that it’s teeing them up for a good performance in the Fall when they go to their college programs,” Head Coach Ryan Wall said.