ANDREW VORCE - Wednesday, June 9, 2010
League Two looks to be the perfect fit for Seb Harris as the young Northampton Town striker continues down his journeyman path to his dream career as a professional soccer player in England.
Harris was not a headline signing nor did he burst onto the scene as typical American starlets looking to make their way into the glittering life of a superstar.
To the contrary, Harris kept his nose down and put in the hours to ensure that when his chance came, he took it.
His contract was extended from an initial six month contract in January keeping him at the club until the end of the season.
On February 27th Harris repaid head coach Ian Sampson after scoring the late winner against Cheltenham Town,prompting Northampton to eventually offer a new 12 month contract at the end of May.
"They were very happy with my work rate and commitment in training and my overall improvement over the past season and wish to keep me on, and for me to improve even more" Harris explained to Yanks Abroad.
"It means everything to me," he went on. "It's been my dream for as long as I can remember. I'm so proud to be playing in England as this is the birth place of [soccer] and if you can play here and make a mark in this country at any level you're doing well.
"I was very happy to sign for another year, as Northampton is where my family originates from so it was always going to be my first choice. There was in fact interest from other clubs like Luton FC, Oxford United and others, but Northampton gave me the chance last season and I'm happy to give them the chance for next season."
With the sport of soccer in general, there are always ups and downs not only for teams, but for athletes themselves. Northampton and Harris both felt this roller coaster effect throughout the season, but the former Oakland University standout was able to help alleviate both feelings in one swift kick.
"The best part [of my season] was my goal against Cheltenham Town FC," he reminisced. "It was a pivotal moment in the season as the club needed a lift from the gloomy Christmas program where we did very badly."
"It also gave us a lift to do well and to try and make the playoffs. We went on a great run that put us in fifth place at one point.
"The low point was just missing out on the playoffs and picking up an injury towards the back end of the season," he divulged. "I had been working really hard in training and was now making the bench every week and getting on."
"Then I picked up this [injury] that was the [nagging] type of injury, but I feel my first season as a pro has totally gone to to plan and am very, very pleased with my position now. I am a person on a mission and the pieces are falling into place."
Looking back on the last 12 months, Harris is sure that he is on the right path and has the tools to take him to wherever he wants to be in the future.
As is the case with most professional athletes, the Michigan native has his own personal agenda and plans to hit every check mark along the way.
"I had a chance and I took it," Harris explained. "Life is full of opportunities, one door shuts and another one opens. You have to take them. My uncle has been a big influence in me taking that chance and of course Ian Sampson and Malcolm Crosby for believing in me. I'm on schedule with my game plan."
With season one of his dream life under his belt, the striker has already begun to develop his strategy for next season. The first item on the agenda is to see Northampton promoted.
"The first thing is to do everything I can to see Northampton Town promoted next season," he said of his goal. "I plan to improve even further and to cement my place in the team, be it as a striker or a center half."
"I'm looking forward to new players coming into the team and working with them," Harris concluded. "I have learned so much from players here already and hope to take that knowledge into the upcoming season."