Will it be lights out for the Gateway Soccer Association?

After being summoned by Supervisor Rod Senior to the Gateway Services Community Development District meeting on November 19, 2015, the GSA will be sending former soccer star John Robinson to represent them.

Robinson formerly played in the British Premier League and he also suited up for the Welsh national team. He is currently the Head Coach of the Southwest Florida Adrenaline of the United Soccer League, and is one of the instructors for the GSA.

Senior summoned the GSA and the Gateway Flag Football League because he wants to learn more about their programs before the Board of Supervisors authorizes spending between $400,000 to $500,000 on replacing the lights at the Sherman Soccer Complex. Presumably, Senior will seek to find out what kind of difficulties the youth sports leagues will face if the Board decides not to replace the lights.

Robinson has spent his entire life playing and coaching soccer. The former Charlton Athletic FC midfielder is helping to grow the game in this area, and he will no doubt attempt to persuade Senior that the GSA has provided a positive playing experience to thousands of children over the years – most of whom live in Gateway.

Senior has said that he’s a huge soccer fan, but now that he’s tasked with the responsibility of watching the community purse strings he doesn’t believe that the Sherman Soccer Complex provides sufficient value for the money for Gateway residents.

If the soccer field lights are not replaced, the GSA and GFFL will have to decide whether they can operate during daylight hours only, or if they should relocate their programs somewhere else.

While it’s unlikely that Senior will be swayed by Robinson’s star power, the fact the GSA has asked for Robinson’s assistance at the meeting hopefully makes the point to the Board of Supervisors that this issue is of the highest importance to their program.

Editor of the Gateway Sun and owner of restaurant delivery service Florida Food Runner.

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