PAINESVILLE, OHIO – The Lake Erie College men's soccer team has added a pair of international defenders from England to bolster its 2012 signing class.
Second-year Head Coach Davie Carmichael announced Joe Coombs ( Knutsford, England) and Luke Hobbs (Yarm, England) have signed to play for the Storm starting in the Fall of 2012.
"These two new players will strengthen our squad and freshen up our defense," said Carmichael. "Last season we allowed 26 goals in 18 matches, significantly reduced from the 49 goals allowed in the same number of games the previous season. With a more organized defensive shape, we hope to continue to reduce this ratio and tighten things up at the back. Both Joe and Luke are very well coached and will give a more structured and pragmatic approach to our defensive play."
A 6'4" central defender and right fullback, Coombs currently goes to the Holmes Chapel Sixth Form College and plays for Altrincham Football Club. His previous club squads include Manchester United Academy, Crewe Alexandra F.C. Academy and Macclesfield Town F.C. Centre of Excellence.
"Joe is a no-nonsense, traditional English central defender that will anchor our backline," said Carmichael. "At 6'4" he's a commanding presence and excellent in the air, but also very capable on the ball with a sold first touch and good passing ability. He reads the game well and is often a step ahead of the forward he is playing against. He's very mature and experienced, with an excellent attitude."
"It was a long recruiting process trying to find the right college in the USA that fit both my academic and soccer ambitions and Lake Erie seems like the perfect place for me to develop my game further and be part of program with high aspirations over the next four years," explained Coombs. "In England, I had the opportunity to either further my education or to carry on with my soccer career. Lake Erie has offered me the opportunity to apply my skills in both disciplines which is a dream come true."
The 6'2" Hobbs also covers the central defender and right fullback positions. He currently attends Conyers Schools and plays for the Stockton Town Football Club having previously served as team captain of the Sunderland F.C. Academy.
"Luke is a cool-headed, composed and smart central defender who is very comfortable with the ball at his feet even when pressured," said Carmichael. "His range and weight of passing is excellent which will give us the option to play out from the back more comfortably. A well coached player, Luke comes from a strong soccer family spanning three generations. Rarely does such a top student-athlete become available and we are delighted to have him commit here to Lake Erie."
Hobbs noted, "I was impressed with Coach Carmichael's professionalism and enthusiasm during the recruiting process. His ambition made me want to be a part of the soccer program at Lake Erie. Academically, the small class sizes and choice of degree courses really appealed to me. I am really looking forward to coming to Lake Erie this fall."
Combs and Hobbs join a trio of players signed by the Storm earlier this year. Read more about those signings HERE.