Black Watch Soccer Club & New Tampa Soccer Association
Black Watch Soccer Club
In the mid to late 1970s Black Watch Soccer Club was formed and was steeped in the rich Scottish heritage of the Black Watch regiment – an elite infantry regiment in the British army known for bravery, valor, true Scottish grit and determination. The Black Watch regiment was the first kilted regiment to march into battle to the rhythm of bagpipes. This unique heritage and reputation was the foundation for the teams of the Black Watch Soccer Club.
Black Watch Soccer Club was established to give every youth in Tampa a chance to play competitive soccer. As the club grew, success followed:
9 Florida Regional Champions
1 Florida Regional Co-Champion
3 President’s Cup Champions
5 Superclub Regional Champions
3 Superclub National Champions
5 State Cup Final 4 teams
1 State Cup Finalist
24 State Champions
3 Region III Champions
1 National Champion
New Tampa Soccer Association
New Tampa Soccer Association started as the North East Soccer Association that initially had 180 players in this “new” section of Tampa. As the area quickly grew and became known as New Tampa, the club adapted its name and became New Tampa Soccer Association (NTSA).
New Tampa Soccer Association became one of the fastest growing clubs in the Bay Area. Each year the club doubled its size and became more sophisticated. As the recreational program increased, a fresh new look was created. In 1992, a competitive division was created to showcase the talents of the league’s top players and this division was named the Comets. At of the time of the merger with Black Watch in 2009, the Comet program had expanded to 28 teams and had many successes:
39 Tournament Championships
31 Runner-Up Tournament Finishes
10 Runner-Up American’s Cup
18 1st Place American’s Cup
12 Runner-Up Region C
10 Region C Championships
6 teams to Round of 16 State Cup
5 teams to Round of 8 State Cup
2 Final 4 State Cup appearances
1 President’s Cup Championship
1 Region 3 Southeast Regional
In addition to the success of the program, the coaching level also grew from E license coaches to A licenses. New Tampa Socerr Association had more the 1,400 players and 28 Comet teams and has grown to become about more than just soccer . . . a second family.
With the merger of these two clubs (Black Watch’s 30 year history & New Tampa’s almost 20 year history), we are continuing to create great history. Two power house soccer clubs each with unrivaled reputation for excellence.
Fusion Futbol Club of Tampa Bay. The game, the club, the players!
Tampa, June 1, 2009. Every now and again well-meaning neighbors can step back, think outside the box, check their egos, recognize strength in others, overlook a fifteen year rivalry and forge what, at first blush, may have been hard to envision, but what is hoped will be a solid relationship for decades. After almost a year of steering committee research, discussions, meetings, recommendations and hard work, the Black Watch Soccer Club and the New Tampa Soccer Association will become one non-profit and charitable soccer club, the Fusion Futbol Club ofTampa Bay, on June 1, 2009.
Being aware of the new clubs, the merged clubs, the professional affiliations and the developmental academies which were changing the face of local youth soccer, acknowledging a downturn in the economy and feeling the pinch associated with the loss of competitive players and teams, a steering committee was formed in July of 2008 to explore the feasibility of a merger or affiliation between the Black Watch Soccer Club and the New Tampa Soccer Association.
After months of analyzing the relative strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of both clubs, as well as those of surrounding clubs, the compatibility of both clubs became apparent, the need for an economy of scale gained through combined resources became clear and a realization developed that more modern administrative and coaching programs may better serve area players and may better ease the sacrifice required of those who support the passion of their children. Only when sure it was for the right reasons, did the steering committee unanimously recommend resolutions for merger or affiliation to the required boards and membership.
To bring these two soccer clubs and their New Tampa Community Park, Benito Middle School and 30th Street (behind the Yuengling Brewery) locations together was too significant of an opportunity and too serious of a responsibility to ignore. In order to eliminate duplicate efforts; in order to reduce overhead; in order to make best use of the economy of scale; in order to better assure the availability of existing field space; in order to better coordinate communication with governmental entities for the acquisition of new field space; in order to expand the available player pool; in order to expand the available volunteer pool; in order to better coordinate fundraising and sponsorship activities; and having devised new administrative and soccer operation structures to best effect a smooth transition and best utilize the strengths and personnel of both clubs, the alliance was seen as a win-win proposition.
The name, Fusion Futbol Club of Tampa Bay, coupled with its new blue, black, gold and white logo, featuring a soccer ball “torch” and a hovering gold star, exemplifies the combined resources and colors of both clubs, embodies the role soccer is hoped to play in the lives of its players, generally identifies the club’s location and recognizes the accomplishments of both clubs. “Tampa” a Calusa Indian name meaning “sticks of fire”, subtly but historically associates the “torch” with this area of Florida. That modern torch will illuminate, enlighten, shine as a beacon (for the opportunities afforded by soccer) and associate the new club with the Olympic Development Program. The gold star will not only respect the history, traditions and accomplishments of both clubs, it will recognize the national championship earned by one Black Watch team.
The goal of this consolidation is a lofty one, to form a more efficient, more cost effective and more modern club (one greater than the sum of its parts) which (in accord with the highest ideal of sportsmanship and fair play – while developing skills and an appreciation for soccer’s rules and life lessons) will provide recreational and developmental programs for some 1,200 within the New Tampa community and competitive programs for what could be some 500 within the Tampa Bay area for soccer players of all ages, focus and ability.
The Fusion governing body will consist of its voting members (adult players, parents or guardians of minor players, board members, directors, coaches, managers and accepted volunteers). The Fusion board will have an odd number of no more than seven members. The initial seven-member board will include three current Black Watch board members (Mike Danielson – Secretary, Kathleen Shelton – Vice President of Communications and Mark Shelton – Vice President of Resources) and three current New Tampa board members (Mike Perez – Treasurer, Lou Cerillo – Vice President of Operations and John Pitcairn – Vice President of Administration). Lloyd Marriott, a New Tampa parent and resident, will serve as the first Fusion President.
Even though this board and the club’s membership will retain oversight authority, all day-to-day soccer operations and administrative decisions are being delegated to, and will be made by, the soccer and administrative professionals. On the soccer side, Jim DiNobile, the Black Watch Director of Coaching, will serve as the Fusion Director of Soccer Operations and Girls Director of Coaching, Mauricio Pesaresi, the New Tampa Director of Coaching, will serve as the Fusion Boys Director of Coaching and Daniel Greco, the New Tampa Assistant Director of Coaching, will serve as the Fusion Boys Assistant Director of Coaching. On the administrative side, Jose Torres, the New Tampa Executive Director, will assume a similar position as the Fusion Director of Administration.