The 31-year old midfielder will return to Steel FC for at least another year. Steel FC head coach Brendan Burke spoke with the media yesterday during his weekly conference call and admitted he was relieved to know Chambers would be returning.
“We are excited to welcome James back to Bethlehem this season,” said Burke. “The leadership and energy that James brings to the club are instrumental to the Steel and we look forward to having him as a role model on and off the field once again.”
As for the negotiation process, Burke mentioned that Ernst Tanner – Union Sporting Director – and Chris Albright – Union Technical Director – joined him and Chambers for discussions. Burke was quick to mention that he and Chambers spoke prior to the end of last season about bringing him back. Burke, Tanner, and Albright were determined to make negotiations work.
And they did just that.
The Scotsman leadership is needed
Chambers agreed to a one-year contract with an option on the second. From the way Burke spoke about Chambers, you can almost guarantee that this contract will last both years. And on top of the new contract, Chambers will also have even greater influence in the locker room and on the pitch.
Burke mentioned the overall age of the club is expected to be “years” younger than last year. Last season, Steel FC consistently featured match-day rosters full of teenagers. You can expect even more young Union Academy faces in 2019.
Which is why bringing Chambers back was Steel FC’s number one objective this off-season. They have ‘landed their whale’ so to speak. Just imagine for a brief moment, Steel FC without Chambers on the pitch this upcoming season. Imagine a group of Academy players, college rookies, and Union reserve players attempting to play organized professional soccer without someone with incredible leadership capabilities on the pitch with them. That’s where Chambers thrives. As a leader.
Chambers will be looked upon more often this year than ever before. Especially since Tanner decided to swap SuperDraft picks for cash earlier this week. The fallout of abandoning the SuperDraft creates an abundance of opportunities for Union Academy standouts to grasp hold of crucial pro soccer experience with Steel FC.
In fact, Burke mentioned there will in fact be more Academy players in 2019 than ever before. So you can expect to hear Chambers voice echoing throughout Talen Energy Stadium a lot in 2019.
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Mandatory Credit: Bethlehem Steel FC