By JOHN T. WARD
A newly formed semi-pro soccer team plans to play the home matches of its inaugural season this year at Count Basie Fields in Red Bank, the club announced Tuesday.
FC Monmouth, a locally owned new addition the North East Division of the National Premier Soccer League, has made arrangements with the borough to play its five home games on Saturday evenings this spring and summer at the stadium, team general manager Jacco de Bruijn told redbankgreen.
“It should be a good thing for the town,” said de Bruijn, a Fair Haven resident and one of seven investors in the club. “The idea is to bring in people from all over Monmouth County.”
Borough Parks and Rec director Charlie Hoffmann could not be reached for comment on the arrangements Tuesday.
While some teams in the league have paid players, all FC Monmouth’s will be amateurs, which means that college players are eligible, he said. The team expects to announce both a tryout date in a few weeks, according to the release.
“It’s very high quality play, and we want to be competitive,” de Bruijn said.
Though the season schedule also won’t be set for a few weeks, the club’s rivals will include squads from Metuchen, Morristown and Atlantic City, de Bruijn said. The first match will be held in May, he said. Season tickets may be purchased for $30 for adults an $15 for children.
FC Monmouth’s other owners are Simon Nynens of Little Silver; John Kiely of Red Bank; Corbett Donato and Stavros Memtsoudis of Rumson; Mattia Buffolino of Middletown; and Federico Girardi of New York City.
The septet have been playing Sunday-morning pick-up games for years, mostly at Sickles Park in Little Silver, de Bruijn said.