Golden Goal: Former locals chase soccer dreams in UK

coastfa-Devon-Tylor-in-2008Every Coast FA training session up until the fall of 2008 saw Deven and Tylor Golden among the first to arrive and the last to leave. The boys were 100 percent committed to the game and, unlike most American boys, showed no interest in other sports.

That fall, parents Tony and Tania Golden packed their belongings and made a life-changing move to Ipswich, England, which opened the door for the Golden brothers to pursue their dreams in a place where most boys dreamed as they did. After spending a year and a half in Ipswich playing on developmental teams, the family moved to Manchester where Deven was signed by Rochdale FC at U14 and Tylor with Manchester City as a U10.

The boys both progressed rapidly through the ranks and Deven, now 20 years old, is signed with New Mills AFC. Tylor is currently under contract at Wigan Athletic at age 16. Both boys see being a professional footballer in the near future.

“The move to England has been an amazing journey for the Golden family but we miss our friends, the South Carolina weather and the Coast FA atmosphere,” said the boy’s father Tony Golden. “Both boys embraced the culture changes from the very start. They have relocated to their dream world and sometimes their fantasy collides with their real world. Manchester United players regularly show up at local schools and player sightings are plentiful in local restaurants and shops.

“The biggest challenge for the boys since arriving in 2008 has been to overcome the idea that local born players somehow had football in their DNA. It took the two a little while to gain the confidence needed to excel in England. Most American players are labeled with preconceived impressions as good athletes upon their arrival but have to fight to be accepted as players with a high soccer IQ.”

“It was clear from day one that both Deven and Tylor were very talented soccer players, but what gcoastfa-Deven & Tylor Goldenot them to where they are today is dedication and hard work above all else,” said Coast FA Director of Coaching Ross Morgan. “They are a great example to the younger players of Coast FA as to how much you can achieve when you have a great attitude towards making yourself a better player. We are very proud of both of them and wish them all the success in the future.”

Deven Golden credits his strong soccer foundation for helping him make the transition. “I’d have to say that I would like to be higher than I am at the moment in soccer but I am in the middle of hopefully beginning to move up the ladder after playing regular first team football in Non-league. It was great to be in Rochdale’s academy and also going on trials with the likes of Burnley, Blackburn and Bolton but after not getting a scholarship the main aim needed to be playing first team football in Non-league.

“My time at Coast FA definitely helped me get as far as I have so far. When first coming over I didn’t see any big difference in quality between Tylor and I and players over here. Coast FA is why we were at that level. In comparison to clubs over here they are closer to a professional academy than the local junior clubs you can play for over here. Coast FA were definitely a great club to be with and did a lot for my development. Even the support they gave when my family decided to move here was great. We probably wouldn’t have moved over if they didn’t show the belief they did in Tylor and I that we had a chance of making a career out of soccer. The whole family will always feel like a part of Coast FA,” he said.

Tylor Golden added “I feel that my time at Coast FA when I first started to play football (soccer) has made a huge impact in where I am in my career at this moment in time. It gave me a chance to practice and get guidance from some of the best coaches I have worked with to develop and understand the game. … It was one of the best times of my life going to training at and playing for Coast FA; I’ll never forget it.”

Photo courtesy of Coast FA

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