Bringing Soccer to Pinellas County Families Since 1970

St. Pete Raiders Merger Update

Tony Paris

Old Values, with a New Beginning
As many of you have already heard, the merger between St Pete Raiders and Pinellas Park United will now dissolve. It became apparent that we were two different clubs with two different ideals and directions.
One of our major concerns was that we were giving up our reputation that had taken so long to establish and in reality starting again as an unknown which became apparent this season. At the time of the merger the governing body were encouraging clubs to merge as too many clubs already exist in the greater Tampa Bay area, which further enhanced our decision making into the merger. But as we know, mergers are difficult and do not always work. We felt it was better to make the break now while we still could and exercise the exit clause that was in the contract. It had been a learning experience for all concerned and feel that it will make us stronger as we move full speed ahead in our quest to return St Pete Raiders to its former glory.
Sometimes its good to take a step back and re evaluate what you have and what you don’t? I think we now realize we have a great club steeped in History and success. The St Pete name has been always been recognized for its development of players, winning ethic and its prestige... We have many plans for the club and ensuring its future. One of the key elements in any club is quality coaches and good training. I. both as a DOC and a parent look for this when I look at a club, I too look through the eyes of a parent and ask, “ “Would this be good enough for my child?” If I can honestly say “Yes” then this helps me reach a logical decision.
As we speak I am putting together a strong cast of qualified coaches for season 2007-08. I have prided my self on always having the best coaches within the Tampa Bay area and I am determined that this coming season will be no different. I want to develop oversees travel for our players, so as to broaden both Soccer and cultural differences, helping to develop our players even further. Its time for a change!! When you look around, many of the clubs are just the same, the only thing that separates them, is the Team colors... I want St Pete Raiders to be the standout that it once was and for our players to be proud to wear the red and blue that signifies “Excellence thru Endeavor!”
So, I ask that you keep a sharp eye out for tryouts and become once again a part of “old values with a new beginning!!!”
Tony Paris
Executive Director
St Pete Raiders Soccer club

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