On September 24th, Saint Louis FC may have been closing the book on 2016, but one player was starting a new chapter. In the 56th minute, Aedan Stanley took the field for the first time in USL side Saint Louis FC. This marked the first time an academy player of youth affiliate, St. Louis Scott Gallagher, saw minutes for the first team.
We were able to catch up with Stanley and spoke with him regarding his experience training and the moments leading up to his first appearance for Saint Louis FC.
STLFC: Tell us about your experience training at a professional level this summer?
AS: I have learned so much. For example, every exercise in every session should be done at the highest level or it is not worth doing. To be the best you must hold yourself to the highest level of accountability. When the game is the most intense, it's the most fun.
STLFC: How do you keep a balance between, the pro team, academy, and school?
AS: The staff is a great help when it comes to organizing the soccer side. Academics are a challenge; I come home every night ready to stay up to get my studies in.
STLFC: Do you have any mentors or players you look up to on STLFC?
AS: After rooming and hanging with Barks (Brandon Barklage), I've learned so much from him. He's a top class player because he treats everyone and holds himself to a top class.
STLFC: You dressed earlier in the season at home, what was that like?
AS: The atmosphere was unreal. There was a presence in the air that isn't in an academy game. There was a job to be done.
STLFC: What were you thinking when you began warming up at Taft Stadium in OKC?
AS: I knew I was going to get minutes, but I hadn't hit me just yet. I was getting anxious; constantly hoping my name would get called.
STLFC: What was going through your mind while you were waiting at midfield waiting to sub on for Collin Fernandez?
AS: It was finally here! I tried to stay calm and not feel too overwhelmed. Captain, Chad Bond, told me before I went on, "Connect your first pass, then show them your creativeness." I knew I would be okay because I had the trust of the players, coaches and myself."
STLFC: Was the gameplay what you expected?
AS: Man players told me that the game will be faster, and it was. I quickly had to adapt to it after getting on. My biggest surprise was the fact you had to be tuned into literally every second. One second of checking out could cost your team.
STLFC: What was the most important thing you learned from your time on the field against the Oklahoma City Energy?
AS: The only way you can succeed is if you have faith, confidence, and trust in yourself.
Aedan Stanly, along with St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri and Illinois Academy players, will be joining Saint Louis FC's U-18 Academy to take on the U.S. U-17 Men's National Team at the World Wide Technology Soccer Park on Saturday, October 8th. The best in St. Louis will be taking on the nation's best at 7:30pm. The match will be a celebration St. Louis' constant involvement with the United States Soccer Federation. The U.S. U-17's will feature Josh Sargent, a St. Louis native, who is a product of the SLSG Academy program and St. Dominic High School in St. Charles, Mo. The STLFC U-18's will also feature Youth National Team call-ups Seth Stiebel and Jack Maher. Click Here for the full team roster.
To secure your tickets for the match, call the Marco Box Office at 636-680-0997 or head to SaintLouisFC.com