East Central College soccer Head Coach Kean Barclay continues to not only build the 2013 squad, but also is working to find colleges for his former players on the team.
Paul McCallum is the most recent Falcon to move onto a four-year college. He signed with St. Thomas University in Miami, an NAIA school.
McCallum, a midfielder for the past two seasons with the East Central College Falcons, feels what he’s learned in Missouri will help him to continue his career.
“I’m looking forward to the new challenge,” McCallum said. “This was part of my dream, to keep playing at an enhanced level as I go on in soccer. I’m looking forward to this. This is a big thing for me and my family.”
McCallum came to East Central from Excelsior High School in Sunrise, Fla. (2006) A native of Jamaica, McCallum adjusted to Missouri and the college game.
“The biggest challenge I had coming here was how to adapt,” Paul said. “Once I adapted here, everything fell into place. I came here looking forward to playing soccer and getting an education. I got that. I got some of the best coaches here. Coach Barclay motivated me on the training ground. The experience I got here was fabulous. I am looking forward to carrying what I learned to St. Thomas. I made myself a better player at East Central.”
McCallum will either play central defensive midfielder or left back at St. Thomas.
“I’m a guy who is looking for a challenge, so I’m not really worried about where I play,” McCallum said. “I just want to get there and get involved with the new team and play the best I can.”
St. Thomas has moved a number of its players onto higher playing levels, and that’s another positive with going there, McCallum said.
“That’s an option for me to keep playing after St. Thomas,” McCallum said. “I’m hoping to play at a higher level. That’s what I do best. I look to share my talent wherever I go.”
Going back to Florida is another positive for him.
McCallum is looking forward to bringing his new family to Florida as well. Paul and his girlfriend Chelsea Shiner have a young son, Jaivyn.
“Jaivyn, my bundle of joy, and Chelsea, his mom, have backed me 100 percent in anything I do,” McCallum said. “They keep motivating me. When I think of stopping, I look at him and he just smiles and that motivates me to push harder. He’s the reason I want to continue playing soccer. I want to make something of myself. “
At St. Thomas, McCallum is looking to major in business management but would like to apply that to aviation.
In continuing to build his ECC soccer roster, Barclay has signed Aaron Bannister, a central defender from Kidderminster, Worcestershire, England, for this year’s team.
“AJ falls right into the kind of culture we’re putting together at East Central,” Barclay said. “He’s got some great experience and is a really hard-working player. I know he’s excited to get into camp and we’re excited to have him on board.”