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Tamburini set to play in Nashville this summer

March 15, 2016

By CHRIS PRIDE

MARTINSVILLE, Va. — Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) sophomore soccer transfer Elias Tamburini is set to have a busy summer in the south.

The All-Region X first teamer and third-team NJCAA All-American is set to play for Nashville FC of the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL). It’ll be the second straight summer the Patriots forward will play in the league, having played for Chesterfield FC in Richmond, Va. last year.

Tamburini is hoping the experience in Nashville will help tailor him for what lies ahead at Virginia Tech University and the rigors of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

“Everything has come perfect now. To be with a Division I program and then a top summer program is everything I’ve worked for,” Tamburini said.

The NPSL is an amatuer summer league considered to be the fourth tier of the professional American soccer pyramid. PHCC men’s soccer coach Enda Crehan said the league does a good job of matching similar talent together pushing players forward in their respective careers. The experience of playing against like minded NCAA Division I talent during the summer will only help the Patriot standout excel in the fall.

“Nashville is a big city and it’ll be great for Elias to go experience that,” Crehan said. “Anytime a player signs to play for a summer league team you have to be pretty happy with it. He’s really going to prep himself for the fall at Virginia Tech and life in the ACC.”

Tamburini had a sensational one and only season at PHCC in 2015. He scored a team-high and program high 21 goals in 20 games. He added 13 assists for a team-high 55 points and had over 50 percent of his shots directed on goal with 64 of his 104 hitting the target. Converted from an outside defensive back, Crehan moved the Finnish international to striker this past season which yielded numbers that garnered national attention.

Tamburini said he wouldn’t be surprised if he were placed back to the outside this summer or later in the fall. Regardless, he added he’ll be ready for whatever comes his way.

“It’s up to the coach but he knows I can either play at the left back position or can play up top as a forward,” Tamburini said. “Outside back was the position I started playing. I played for the Finnish national team at that position and that’s where I’ve played some of my biggest games.”

Tamburini’s connections through his Finnish assistant and coach Crehan helped land the striker in Nashville this summer. Nashville’s coach Bryan Johnson reached out to the PHCC sophomore and believes he’ll be a talented addition to this year’s squad. Tamburini said he had the option of either working out at Tech this summer with the strength and conditioning coach or play summer ball, choosing the latter.

Nashville plays in the South Region of the Southeast Conference of the NPSL. It will have a rivalry game with Chattanooga during the summer which Crehan said draws a crowd of over 5,000. The season starts May 7 at home against Peachtree City and will end July 2 against the Birmingham Hammers to complete a 12-game schedule.

Looking to develop his confidence before taking on a new challenge in Blacksburg, Tamburini’s efforts continue to the push the PHCC soccer program to the level Crehan is hoping for. He feels more players in the future will continue to land themselves at similar teams and transfer to Division I programs.

“All of this just continues to build the program up and gives our players opportunities,” Crehan said. “I know others will look to do the same and it helps raise the level of the program.”

Filed under: Men's Soccer

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