Sunday, October 25, 2015
The Harrisburg City Islanders missed out on a postseason berth for the first time in five seasons in 2015, but the team saw numerous strong showings from its new faces.
Rookie defender Ken Tribbett was named a finalist for the USL Rookie of the Year award after a standout season, and his fellow defender Dante Leverock also established himself after making the transition from Bermuda to the City Islanders.
Leverock made 22 appearances and had three goals and an assist as he quickly grew into his role at center back for Bill Becher’s side.
“I said to myself that I wanted to play,” Leverock told Bermudan outlet IslandStats.com recently. “I had that in mind every day at training, throughout preseason I was working hard, putting my name in his mind to say, ‘all right, he has the ability to play if I need him.’ Once the Charlotte game happened, and I scored, I kept my place ever since then, and for me, my main goal was to keep my place in the team.”
Leverock’s role as a leader on the side also increased as the season went on, as he was encouraged to become more of a vocal leader on the field.
“For me, naturally I feel like I’m a leader, and that’s what they noticed on the field,” Leverock said. “Even as a young rookie, I’m organizing my players, and they respected that. I remember one time in training, about two months in, and the veteran ‘keeper [Nick Noble] who has been there for years – he’s played in MLS and Sweden – he came to me and said I was talking, but not as much, and he said, ‘look, you earned your spot, these guys respect you, become a leader’, and ever since then I haven’t looked back.”
Leverock is set to return to the City Islanders next season, and is now working to add to his game ahead of his second professional season. After finishing two points out of the playoffs this season, Leverock is aiming to raise his game and lead the side to a successful 2016.“I have a lot of things to improve on,” Leverock said. “I want to get to the next level, I’ve had some interest to do that, and I’ve got to fine-tune my game, become a leader next season, become that man that they look to to win games, and organize and keep clean sheets, that’s my goal for next season.”