All-Courant Cover Story: Bloomfield Boys Soccer Wins First State Title Since 1950
Bloomfield soccer ( BRAD HORRIGAN | email@example.com / December 21, 2012)
He just knew it felt right.
So with little coaching experience and a whole lot of passion, McFarlane approached athletic director Tammy Schondelmayer.
“The job wasn't posted, and I just walked in here one day and said [to Schondelmayer] I think I'm the man for the job,” McFarlane said.
“She looked at me and said, 'Who are you?’ “
McFarlane knew he belonged at Bloomfield — even if the school didn't at that moment..
This season, the former Major League Soccer player with the Chicago Fire and Weaver high school standout proved it.
With the help of an inspired group of players hoping to make history and All-New England striker Fabian Burnett, Bloomfield defeated Somers 3-2 in the Class S boys soccer championship for its first title in soccer since 1950.
“We wanted to change the entire community and bring back the love for soccer again,” McFarlane said. “I want this team to be remembered as a group of kids that were willing to make changes to give others opporunties.”
Burnett, who had 32 goals this season, scored threein the final, including the game-winner with 1:36 left to give the Warhawks a victory many thought would never come.
For years, Bloomfield had struggled to win regular season games, let alone tournament games.
The Warhawks languished at the bottom of the league standings.
Despite skill and athleticism, Bloomfield could never out it together, losing leads, never living up the potential the team had on paper.
But that all changed after McFarlane was hired.
After years of playing in the MLS and a couple years coaching alongside Conard coach Adam Linker, McFarlane was ready to build a program.
“I really wanted to build something and do something for a community like Bloomfield that nobody had done, especially in soccer,” McFarlane said.
And he thought the place to do it was Bloomfield.
McFarlane knew the Bloomfield game and he knew the type of players that Bloomfield had. So instead of going the easy route and shying away from the cellar-dwelling Warhawks, he approached Schondelmayer with his idea.
McFarlane was Jamaican and he knew the program had a lot of Jamaican-born players on the roster, so he thought he could connect with them.