Meet Our President

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FGCU Men's Soccer Head Coach Jesse Cormier to take over the leadership role of the Lee County Strikers.

After serving on the Strikers board for two and half years and helping the oldest club program in Southwest Florida become financially sustainable, FGCU Men’s Soccer Coach Jesse Cormier will replace life-long Striker mom, parent, and team manager Pam Attuso and look to build a model that builds a pathway to FGCU and other similar opportunities at college programs.

“I’ve been working closely with my friend, and project-partner president Pam Attuso, and the volunteer board members to build a sustainable financial model and I believe we’ve achieved that. Pam and the board have amazing energy and have had a tremendous influence with the passion and vision for the club to ensure the Strikers stay viable and sustainable in a very competitive club environment.  

Now it’s time to create a new unique vision, for training, a playing philosophy that can help educate and facilitate our club’s players to have a pathway to play at the highest levels in this country.  

We want to help each player become the best versions of themselves, and build character, while also developing the skillsets to also have the opportunity to play collegiately at a program like FGCU or similar”, commented Cormier.

Cormier’s vision is to build the Striker pathway on the foundation and building blocks of being a Division 1 head coach for nineteen years and a top assistant for seven at the Division 1 Collegiate level as well as studying player development at the top clubs in Spain, and England. “I’ve always felt that, every where I’ve been, club soccer in this country is often lead by community business people. This is essential with the ideas around tuition fees, payment plans, facility development. But now is the time for The Strikers to reimagine the purity of the soccer experience by making player development the primary component of our mission, as opposed to many clubs where development is often secondary in their business  model. 

We at strikers want to be different. We want to put player development, technical proficiency, tactical IQ, vision in the game, reading not reacting, and communicating as our club’s priorities. We want our players and teams to always build, construct, and learn to play at a high tempo,with a collective rhythm in possession, the FGCU Way and we will sacrifice winning at times to achieve a higher level of understanding.

“What we’ve decided is, by being president, and having a purely soccer person at the top and making decisions in concert with our board, the Futbol experience for the players and families will be the main priority and the business component will power this mission. We’re bringing the greatest sport in the world to any child or family in our community who wants to learn, grow, laugh, and sweat,” Cormier added. The concept will always focus on keeping tuition affordable, and accessible,  but will combine the best soccer minds and coaches to build an educational model for the players and build a pathway to learning.  Our goal will be to get every player to understand the deeper concepts, nuances in the game, and cover topics and game mastery which could lead to the potential opportunity playing collegiately or professionally.

“Most people in this community don’t realize that we just had our eighteenth player just sign a professional contract or get drafted in the MLS over the last four years, while also achieving in getting their highest level college degrees here at FGCU, we have a player development level that works not only here but at the next level,” Coach Cormier commented.  The idea is for the coaches to be ‘true’ educators and teach the players to play the game at the highest levels, which will open doors to build their futures whether it’s in sport or professional life, or get a college degree and the plan for success has the Strikers program as the first step in the process.

“I know there will always be critics and skepticism, especially from competitive clubs who don’t and won’t see it our way, but I’ve seen what path and journey soccer can form for people, how it can build someone’s identity, a process, teach, learn and build opportunities in life, I’ve lived it and so has our Directors Coach Cip, Coach Dre, our coaches and we all believe it should play that same role for the dynamic kids in our amazing community.”

The club will be strategizing this month to build also have a unique tryout process to train the participants and build a mentoring bridge for training in the fall that will include training at FGCU with many of the players and coaches to facilitate the learning ‘what it takes’ process.  “Our most valuable resource is knowledge, we (players and coaches) know what it takes here at FGCU and plan on sharing that with our community, as a flagship university, and now president of the club, I plan on making sure this is shared with everyone to strengthen our bond together and unite our soccer community”.

Tryouts will be conducted in May 2-7, and the Excellence program will be offered throughout the fall and spring of 2022-23.  To register here is the link.

Tryouts: Click here

Center of Excellence: Click Here

If you have questions, feel free to reach out to Andre Nesfield (soccerbee2002@yahoo.com) or Peter Thomas (pethomas@fgcu.edu).

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A MESSAGE FROM OUR NEW PRESIDENT