It’s been too long. Greetings to all. Steve and I have been extremely active on other social media venues and busy behind the scenes, but our website has been dormant for too long. We are planning to pump some life back into it. This is hopefully the new beginning we’ve all been waiting for. If you, or anyone you know, are interested in helping produce content for Non League America please do let us know!
A few weeks ago I had the chance to speak with Mike Kane, President of Agents of Hale. This newly formed supporters group has pledged their support to Hartford City FC of NPSL. The club will participate in the NPSL Atlantic Division. #Sources state that the schedule for the Atlantic Division will be coming very soon. 2017 in NPSL football is guaranteed to be the most interesting, and wild ride yet. Make sure to follow Agents of Hale on twitter at @AgentsOfHaleCT. Enjoy.
How did the Agents of Hale form?
Back in the spring of 2015, when we heard rumblings of the potential of an NASL club, about 15 or so of us got together at the Corner Pug in West Hartford in an effort to get head of it. We wanted to ensure that there was a supporters group to welcome the club to the city. Now, unless you’ve been living under a rather large rock, you’ve probably heard that that club did not pan out the way we would have liked–but we stuck together through that nightmare, knowing we’d be ready for soccer when the time came.
The name came from a classic voting process. We hashed out dozens of names, and put it up to a popular vote. Our namesake is Nathan Hale, Connecticut’s most famous and arguably worst Revolutionary spy. He’s got statues everywhere.
Why is Hartford a soccer city?
There are a few different things you can point to. The most unmistakable one is what the city’s American Outlaws chapter has accomplished. We’ve hosted multiple US men’s and women’s games, including Gold Cup matches, and done so with incredible success. We now have The Crossbar–a one-of-a-kind, supporter-operated soccer bar. If you look at TV ratings for soccer, both club and national, we’re up in the top 10 on a regular basis. The Greater Hartford area is loaded with established youth clubs. Despite not having a club to call ours until now, we’ve shown our love for the game for years.
How many members do you have?
We’re over 50 now, most of whom stuck with us through that disaster in 2015. With the NPSL club now, before we’ve even kicked a ball, we’ve welcomed new members who are really excited for this year.
NPSL Atlantic Division is booming with clubs, and support for these clubs. Who do you expect to be the fiercest rival?
The brand new outfit in New Haven, without question. We’ve already been brainstorming rivalry cup ideas with their SG. The two cities are only 40 miles apart, yet we have two distinct soccer identities. Very exciting stuff.
We’re also hoping the Cosmos get their act together enough to field their reserves in our conference again. Back when we thought the NASL was coming to town, their supporters were immediately geared up for that. That could prove to be equally intense.
Can you comment on any relationship you have with the owners of Hartford City FC?
It has been a positive relationship from the start. Aaron Sarwar, the owner, has been passionate, transparent, and supportive. A successful supporters section and gameday atmosphere are among his top priorities–he is supportive of our ideas and plans as a SG, and even has some of his own. No joke, a few weeks ago, he brought up the idea of buying and refurbishing an old school bus on the cheap, for away-day travel and general debauchery. He thinks like a supporter.
Just yesterday [Monday 1/16], we had a club/supporter meet and greet at The Crossbar. We met the head coach, some players, their families, and a bunch of new and excited supporters. The club donated season tickets for a drawing that benefited a family close to the SG. Overall, the relationship has been solid.
Possibility that Dillon Stadium will be your home field?
The club has made it abundantly and publicly clear that they want to play at Dillon, as have the supporters. Aaron is a local guy, so he feels the affinity for its history and what it represents to the city as much as the supporters do. Unfortunately, the city has made things very difficult for us, so we won’t be there this year. Politics have a stranglehold on those developments.
We’re largely excited to play at Central Connecticut State University’s field, which is about 10 miles southwest of us. It’s not Dillon, but it’s a gorgeous little venue that will be appropriate for our first year.
What else should readers of Non League America know about the Agents of Hale?
Our vice president, Micah, has the most rubbable bald head in the entire state.