Saturday June 29, 2002 Hamilton Spectator

Hamilton Spectator: Hamilton Players Move Up

Four Thunder players move up to A-league soccer

Four members of the Hamilton Thunder soccer club have a chance to live out the old adage "go west, young man."

The four leave today for Calgary to play in the A-League of professional soccer. The move is possible after Storm owner Thomas Niendorf negotiated their transfer.

On the way up are Matthew O'Connor, an 18-year-old midfielder who had previously tried out with Hertha BSC Berlin in the German Bundesliga; 25-year-old Salvatore Borgh, a defender; forward Orlin Chalmers, 21, who has soccer experience with FC Cannes in France; and Wojtek Zarzycki, a 20-year-old goalkeeper who spent two years in the youth program of Club Werder Bremen in the German Bundesliga.

The Thunder is a first-year franchise in the Canadian Professional Soccer League. The Storm finished atop the Premier Development League last year, and this season moved to the A-League.

One of the reasons they obtained Zarzycki is to replace keeper Lars Hirschfeld, who recently moved to Tottenham Hotspurs of the English League.

Thunder general manager Italo Ferrari said he is pleased for the players. "It is fantastic for all of them. I am really happy for the boys and I really believe this will be an important step for their future in soccer.

"Of course, there are four important players we are losing, but I think we can compensate for that. Now it is up to the youngsters from our development team. It is now time for them to show their talent in the CPSL."

Niendorf was also enthusiastic about the acquisition. "There is a lot of interest from Europe in regard to our players. With the Hamilton players I add competitive players to the team, and they are also future prospects."

The Thunder are next in action tomorrow night in Brampton. They return home to Brian Timmis Stadium to host Toronto Lions, Thursday at 8 p.m.

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