Center forward Mike Ambersley is known for scoring goals, however last season Ambersley showed another side of his talents leading the league in assists. The creative and skillful forward is very dangerous in the final third, but his teammates not only value his talents on the field, but also his work ethic displayed at practice.
When asked about last season Ambersley said, “As a team, last year was a positive season for us. Right now we’re just trying to continuously work hard in training and not get complacent.”
Ambersley is currently recovering from a right MCL sprain but he is anxious to get back into the starting eleven as he hopes to be recovered by the start of the season.
In 2011, Ambersley made the NASL Best XI after his incredibly successful season with the Rowdies. When asked about the accomplishment, Ambersley commented, “It’s good to be recognized by the coaches in the league. It’s an honor.”
However, Ambersley made it clear that he has bigger aspirations this year then just making the NASL Best XI again. “The reason I play is to win championships,” said Ambersley. “In 2011, the year I made the NASL Best XI, we lost in the first round of playoffs. This year I’m more focused on retaining the championship rather than making the Best XI again. As long as I fulfill my role on the team, then I should better my chances at achieving both.
Ambersley understands that he plays an important role for the team. As much as he wants to get better and grow as a player, he never forgets about his teammates. He is a very humble player and is always looking to help out his teammates.
“As a forward, my main job is obviously to score goals,” stated Ambersley. “I also want to create chances and try to make the players around me grow individually. Therefore, I know that in order for our team to be successful, I’m going to have to score goals and make assists while being creative in the final third. I think that when I’m at my best, whether that’s scoring goals or making assists, then the accolades will come. With that being said, it’s not about that and that’s not why I play the game. It’s about the team.”
Rowdies Technical Director Perry Van Der Beck spoke highly of the center forward. “He’s one of our leading goal scorers and we thrive off of his experience. Mike is a proven player in this league,” said Van Der Beck.
Head Coach Ricky Hill also had nothing but positive things to say about Ambersley. “His past experiences help dictate how valuable he really is for us,” said Hill. “Mike has been prolific for us in regards to goals and overall team play. We play a more controlled game when Mike is on the field. He holds the ball up well and also makes clever runs off the ball, which gives us useful outlets.”
As Ambersley is recovering from his injury, he works hard day in and day out to be ready for the start of the season. The forward knows that if he is successful scoring goals and providing assists this season, the Rowdies will have a good chance in retaining the NASL Soccer Bowl Trophy.
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