Phil Woosam is firmly convinced "soccer will succeed in the United States" and he hopes to impress this fact upon fans in the Rome area today when his Atlanta Chiefs participate in an intra-squad match at Barron Stadium.
The Rome Jaycees are sponsoring the program in Rome, which starts at 2:30 p.m. All proceeds go to the Rome Cerebral Palsy School and Jaycee officials are hopeful fans will turn out, "not only to see professional soccer, but also to help support a worthwhile project."
This is one of six exhibitions the Chiefs will play throughout the Southeast. Purpose of this undertaking is to expose more people to fast-growing professional soccer.
Woosnam, who is both coach and general manager of the Chiefs, said his club has recruited with an eye to the future and, as a result, "our players fall into two basic categories."
"First, we have several experienced players most of whom are approximately 30 years of age. They have the knowledge and craft of the game that only experience can bring. The Chiefs in this category are Vic Crowe, Peter McParland, Ron Newman, Howard Riley, Vic Rouse and Brian Hughes. It is part of their job to held the second category, youngsters with potential, to quickly aquire the knowledge of their elders.
"Our young boys—such as Emment Papengwe, Graham Newton, Delroy Scott, John Cocking and Everald Cummings—were most limited in experience in 1967, and although we were in the title race until the last two weeks of the season, we know we let ourselves down with elementary mistakes.
"In 1968 we hope to raise the quality of our playing considerably and if the mature players can maintain their standards of 1967, then we will expect the youngsters to lift the club to a completely higher level of performance," Woosnam concluded.
Woosnam also announced formation of a club—the "Goalgetters"—for young soccer fans seven to 18 years of age.
"We were delighted and enthused by the response of almost 20,000 students in our clinics that we have also decided to form a club for the youth in the Southeast," Woosnam said.
For being a member of the Chiefs "Goalgetters Club," youngsters will first receive a special package from the Chiefs containing a pennant, a Chiefs patch, a decal, a photograph of the 1968 Chiefs, a "Goalgetters" badge and a free ticket to the Chiefs first game on March 30 in Atlanta Stadium.
Members will also receive a fifty cent reduction in ticket prices to all 15 other Chiefs 1968 home games and special club newsletters with special competitions and photographs throughout the season.
"We plan to hold clinics for members, show films, organize a soccer camp in the summer and we have a whole list of other ideas we want to develop," Woosnam said.
Invitations to join are now being sent to all the youngsters who participated in the Chiefs clinics, but anyone between the ages of seven and 18 can become a member of sending a one-dollar membership fee to Chiefs "Goalgetters Club," P. O. Box 4064, Atlanta, 30302.