September 15, 2007
BREAKING NEWS! Michael Goes Pro!
With the stroke of a pen on Tuesday, September 11th, 3rd year foreign student Michael Fitzgerald gave a whole new positive meaning to 9/11 when he signed his debut professional soccer player contract with Japan’s J-League team, Albirex Niigata!
Team scouts and management were on hand at Seiritsu Gakuen in Principal Fukuda’s office as Michael made his pro-soccer career come true. I believe he signed a pro reserve contract, and this will carry him through to Jan 2009, upon which time he will be able to resign with the team as a regular main player, switch to another team or go to a pro team overseas in another league.
Michael will attend a training camp in February 2008, and then return for his school graduation in early March. After which, he will move to Niigata to live in the team dorm with the younger players.
While a J-League team may only have 3 foreign players, as Albirex Niigata does already, as a pro reserve player under the age 20, the rules allow for a few extra non-main players.
Of course we at the school are overjoyed with Michael’s success, and we look forward to cheering him on from the stands every time Albirex Niigata comes to play in Tokyo, which is about once a month! I also really feel grateful to the Seiritsu’s soccer staff for training and supporting Michael so well for these past 2-1/2yrs, because he followed their guidance, put the work in and he now has a great result to show for it. To those who think it can’t be done, no, really, it can be done!