Players Declan McGivern and Ryan Ware have agreed to join the team ahead of the 2016 season. The two were teammates for four years at Notre Dame College, where they won the MEC Regular Season Championship in 2013. Additionally, both players were named to the DII CCA Men’s Soccer All-Atlantic Region Team last season.
Declan McGivern, who was born and grew up in Huddersfield, England, joins the Royals following a four-year career with the Notre Dame Falcons. During his tenure at Notre Dame College, McGivern was a starter each year, captaining the team for the past two years. During the 2015 season, McGivern started every match for the team.
“I’m looking forward to playing in the NPSL. It’ll be my first season in the NPSL so I’m excited to play. I saw that Cleveland was a successful program last year so obviously I’m excited to be involved in a winning team,” stated McGivern.
McGivern played in the Premier Development League the past two summers, but he’s familiar with the NPSL thanks to his college teammates.
“I have friends who played in Detroit, friends who played in Erie, and friends who played in Cleveland as well. I understand it’s a very competitive league,” he commented.
Regarding what the fans can expect from him, McGivern was very clear.
“I think the fans can always expect a 100% effort from me. I play with a lot of intensity, a little bit rough and tumble,” said McGivern. “I leave it all out on the field so what I can guarantee is a lot of hard work, good attitude, and [being] a team player.”
Ryan Ware is a native of Leighton Buzzard whose previous experience includes playing for Wycombe Wanderers’ and Watford FC’s youth teams, as well as playing for Aldershot Town at the professional level. Ware came to the U.S. at the age of 19 to play soccer for the Notre Dame Falcons, where has been a staple for the last four years. During the past two seasons, Ware played for KW United and FC London in the PDL.
“I’m looking to take my experience at those two clubs into AFC Cleveland and hopefully we can do some good things this summer,” Ware stated.
Ware sees himself as an attacking midfielder who can create and score goals, something that is reflected in his stats from last season during which he scored two goals and assisted eight.
“Hopefully I can just do my best in creating and scoring goals and getting the team three points week in and week out,” said Ware.
As far as why he joined the Royals, Ware says that it was combination of his love for the city and the reputation that the club has.
“I’ve been in Cleveland four years and I grew to love the city a lot,” he said. “I was very interested in AFC Cleveland. They seem like a well-organized club and they seem to have some good players from around the local area.”
Fans can see Declan McGivern and Ryan Ware suit up for AFC Cleveland for the first time on May 14, when the Royals takes on Indy Eleven NPSL.