Saturday, November 19, 2011 :: This past Wednesday, the Austin Aztex announced the naming of Paul Dalglish as the Manager of the 2012 USL PDL squad. Dalglish is well known to many of the fan's in Austin, which was detailed earlier on Eberly's Amy website.
I was able to make it down to El Sol Y La Luna restaurant for the media event, and had some time to catch up with Aztex owner David Markley, John Nelms (Executive Director of Lake Travia Youth Association) as well as Paul. After catching up with each other, I was able to chat with Paul on such things as the players, tryouts and get more information on his plans for the inaugural season. I came away feeling good about the exchange, with the following observations:
- I'm really pleased to have Paul as Manager. Not only his pedigree, but his skill as a Manager of amateur teams, leads me to believe that he's going to do a very good job at the Aztex. I look forward to working with him, and seeing the product that he puts on the field.
- The first thing I discovered was the there would actually be 2 teams in Austin in 2012; the afore mentioned Aztex PDL squad as well as a USL Super 20 team. This is great news as it provides more opportunities for us, both for home and road matches.
- None of the 3 knew who was behind the women's professional team that was rumored. Makes me wonder how real this is for 2012.
- As I spoke with Paul, he mentioned that many of the players that are available for PDL, are already being picked up by teams. This means that the Aztex will have their work cut out for them as they look at filling the rosters for 2 teams.
- Speaking of rosters, there are plans in the works for tryouts. Try outs for PDL typically encompass Spring Break weekend, as a result of NCAA regulations about tryouts for amateur athletes outside of Spring Break. However, I would imagine that we'll see another set of tryouts scheduled for an earlier time frame. Paul is very eager to leverage a lot of the talent that already exists in the Austin metro area. This is good news, especially for those who felt that Aztex 1.0 had little reflection of the local community in it's roster (with obvious exception of Miguel Gallardo).
- We also spoke about sponsorships that the Aztex 2.0 team has been able to get. The good news is that there's tremendous work going on here, and although much of it cannot be reported in these pages, I'm really eager to see who signs up for the 2012 season and beyond. Having said that, I encourage all of you to see what you can do to help. I've already reached out to find corporate sponsorship resources at my employer (Dell), and would encourage each of you to do the same. As supporters, we MUST take a much more active role in helping make this team a success IN AUSTIN!
I also had a chance to chat with some other folks, not associated directly with the Aztex organization. I had a chance to speak with Anthony Mannino who writes for the Daily Texan (UT newspaper). Anthony wrote a great story on the event, which I encourage everyone to read. Additionally, I spoke with Meghan from Border Media, who will be working with the Aztex and the local ESPN stations. We chatted about a few media things, including the recent match that ESPN Austin's Chad Hastings joined us for. I'm glad to see that the Aztex are already speaking to this group. There will be additional media coverage of the Aztex. Specifically, there will be a 10 second ad following Sunday's Dallas Cowboys game (~ 3:30 p.m. CDT) on KTBC FOX. Be sure to set your DVR to record.
So I came away from Wednesday's media event pleased with the direction the team is going. I look forward to going to following the team, and getting to see them on the pitch this summer.
P.S. - Don't forget the MLS Cup watch event that Eberly's Army will be having at Mister Tramp's this Sunday night at 8:00 p.m. There will be giveaways at half time, as well as friends from KOOP "Futbol en Vivo". Get there early to get your spot.