Courtesy of Hartwick Athletics
ONEONTA, NY – Instead of suiting up for Hartwick this fall, midfielder Simon Greatwich (Lewes, England/Lewes Priory) has decided to forego his senior season and has accepted an offer to play professional soccer in the Philippines. Greatwich has signed with Loyola Meralco Sparks Futbal Club in the first division of the United Football League, which is the country’s premier league.
“We’re delighted for Simon,” said Hartwick head coach John Scott. “We’ll certainly miss a player of his level on the field but very happy for what he’s accomplished. It’s every player’s dream to compete on the professional level.”
The UFL, which was founded in 2009, is composed of 22 teams, 10 competing in division one and 12 in division two. Last season, Loyola finished third in the division one standings with an 11-3-4 record and was runner-up in the UFL Cup.
Greatwich is no stranger to competing in the Philippines. He has made 10 appearances with the full national team since 2008. In February and March of 2010, he helped the Philippines qualify for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Challenge Cup which took place this past March.
“It’s very tough to say goodbye to the boys and to Hartwick,” said Greatwich. “But, it’s an incredible opportunity and one I might not get again.”
Greatwich departs campus only a handful of credits shy of graduation. He will, however, continue to work on finishing his degree in Business Administration at Hartwick.
“Simon is committed to finishing his degree,” added Scott. “There’s nothing more pleasing to me as a coach to know that this is a priority for him.”
’Wick’s second leading point producer last season playing in the central midfield, Greatwich was named to the MAC Second Team. He was also selected to the University of New Hampshire Nike Classic All-Tournament Team earlier in the season. He notched a career-high six points on two goals and two assists against Florida Atlantic on September 30, helping the Hawks to a 4-1 victory.