The second season of South Georgia Tormenta FC soccer is still a few months away, but that hasn’t stopped the club from building momentum in 2017.
During a press conference held Friday afternoon at The Clubhouse, Tormenta unveiled its schedule for the upcoming season, as well as a handful of new events and announcements aimed at increasing the buzz around the team following a successful first season.
“We’re looking to have a lot of build up into the upcoming season,” Tormenta owner Darin Van Tassell said. “We were happy with last season, but we’re striving to be better. Of course we want to win games, but we also want to continue to build this club with the support of our great fans.”
This season, the Premier Development League has shaken up its alignment a bit as it expands from 64 to 72 teams this season. Tormenta remains in the South Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference, but will have plenty of new rivals. New teams from Nashville, North Carolina and Myrtle Beach will make up the 11-team division.
The division is split into two sub-divisions. Tormenta will face Nashville, Tri-Cities, Peachtree City and Charlotte three times each while splitting a home-and-home cross-divisional series against Myrtle Beach. Tormenta will kick off the new season May 13 as they host Myrtle Beach.
Tormenta will be gunning for a top-2 finish in its division in order to advance to the Eastern Conference playoffs. If they achieve that goal, they won’t need to book any hotel rooms as Friday’s press conference also brought along the news that the conference playoffs will be held in Statesboro.
“We led the entire Eastern Conference in attendance last season,” Van Tassell said. “That definitely had something to do with the decision. But I think that another reason that the playoffs are coming here is the overall atmosphere that we have created. Our gameday staff does a great job of putting on our games and making everything a great experience for the community.”
Players will begin to roll into town during the first week of May, but there is plenty going on with the club until then.
On Feb. 25, Tormenta will host open tryouts at the fields behind The Clubhouse from 1-3 p.m. Tryouts are open to all with a $150 registration fee. For those wanting to support the team without setting foot on the field, Tormenta is also offering a virtual avenue of participation.
In partnership with Galactic Comics and Games, Tormenta will host a FIFA 17 tournament (played on the XBox One) beginning March 12 at The Clubhouse. A $10 registration fee covers tournament entry and pizza during competition.
Finally, Tormenta will welcome in more coaching help this summer.
When the season begins, Andrea Borsa - a former standout defender in the Italian professional league - will come to Statesboro from Italy to assist in Tormenta’s training. The move is part of a recent international friendship agreement between Tormenta and Borsa’s club, Grottaferrata.