TJC Apache Ladies’ Soccer Goes International - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

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TJC Apache Ladies’ Soccer Goes International

Tyler, Henderson, Whitehouse and Lindale: all East Texas cities represented on the Apache Ladies roster. However, the list of cities does not cut off at the Texas or U.S. border.

There are two players from England, two from Ireland, one from Wales and one from Canada on the very first TJC women's soccer team. Each of the international players was recruited by scouts used byTJC overseas.

"I was just interested in coming over to America," said Helen Bailey of Manchester, England. "So I got one of the scouts to speak to some coaches out here and TJC came up."

Kirsty McConachie of Belfast, Ireland and Helen both said coming to Tyler, Texas is a culture shock.

"The weather, it's way different. It's too warm out here for training," Kirsty laughed.

"It's a lot quieter, a lot more chilled out in America," Helen said. 

The Apache Ladies' home, Pat Hartley Field, is not quite as far from home for Victoria Willingham, a former Chapel Hill Bulldog.

"To play here it's cool," Victoria said, "because I know everyone that comes to the games."

While living in Texas is a culture shock for Helen and Kirsty, talking to them is shock enough for the hometown girl.

"It's a lot of fun to sit and talk to them and ask them what is that they are saying and what does that mean," Victoria said. "It's like, 'Talk English,' and they are like, 'We Are!' and I'm like 'Well, talk American.' "

But that is a two way street.

"They ask what's 'ya'll' and 'ain't!'" Victoria said. 

"I just try and listen," Helen said. "I don't understand what they say like 'ya'll.' Words come up like this and I just listen and laugh."

"We've picked up a few (words)," Kirsty said. "But they find it harder to understand the Irish than the English. Everything we say it's like, 'Huh?'"

The girls do share their passion for soccer. But the European's style is quite a bit different from their American counterparts.

"They're a lot more physical than we are," Victoria said. 

"It's a faster style of play," Kirsty added.

Coach Corey Rose said the girls worked hard to understand each others cultures. That understanding has produced a 7-2 start to the season.

"Just kind of overcoming that aspect of it," Coach Rose said, "and trying to become a team has been really good and fun to watch the girls as they've been able to mesh."
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