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Howell and Brunner To Lead Strikers ECNL

Jay Howell

After a nation-wide search, the Richmond Strikers Soccer Club is pleased to announce the hiring of Jay Howell as their new ECNL (Elite Clubs National League) Girl’s Director.  In his new position, Jay will have direct responsibility for the ECNL girls’ program ages 11-18, as well as oversight and management of the overall Richmond Strikers girls’ programming. 

 The Elite Clubs National League has become the national benchmark for the development and identification of the top female youth players in the United States.  The Richmond Strikers are one of 72 clubs in the United States to be invited to participate in this league. Howell was instrumental in helping to create the ECNL and has coached within the league since its inception at highly regarded clubs like CASL and Birmingham United.  Jay spent 11 years in Raleigh, North Carolina as the Director of Coaching at CASL before departing for Birmingham United two years ago, where he served as the club’s Executive Director and Director of Coaching.

 “I am thankful for the opportunity to join and serve such a long-standing, nationally recognized and successful youth soccer club like the Richmond Strikers!  As the Strikers new ECNL Director, I look forward to the opportunity to work with players throughout the Richmond area who relish the thought of competing at the highest level nationally” says Howell.

 “I have known Jay for close to 20 years and have always been impressed with his understanding of the game,” said Bob Jenkins, Director of Coaching and Player Development.  “In the past decade Jay has had an integral part in the growth of girls’ club soccer in the USA.  I am thrilled to be able to bring Jay’s expertise and experience to the Richmond Strikers and look forward to an immediate impact on our girl’s program.”

Scott Turner, Executive Director of the Richmond Strikers states, “We are pleased to welcome Jay back to the Richmond area where he attended the University of Richmond and coached high school soccer at Douglas Freeman HS.  After earning his “A” license, Jay accepted an assistant coaching position at the University of North Carolina. Jay will have a huge positive impact on the Striker girls’ soccer programming!”   

Aaron Brunner

The Strikers are proud to announce the hiring of Aaron Brunner to the full time coaching staff of our Girls Program. Aaron comes to us from Prince William Soccer Club (PWSI) where he has worked along side Ken Krieger for the past 9 years. During this time Aaron has been an instrumental part of PWSI’s evolution into one of the top clubs in Virginia where it enjoys a reputation as a club that both develops players and wins games.

Aaron brings a wealth of experience to the Strikers. He has worked as the Academy Director of PWSI girls program and as a girls coach for Virginia ODP. He is a two-time state Coach of the Year (New Hampshire and Virginia), and in 2009 was voted US Youth Soccer National Coach of the Year.

Aaron is currently on staff as an instructor for VYSA Coaching Education, and will be coaching the U14 and U15 ECNL teams this upcoming season.

"Aaron is a proven winner who develops fantastic talent and teams.  In 2009 he was National Coach of the Year; this prestigious award speaks volumes concerning his ability as a trainer and coach" said Jay Howell, ECNL director.

"Aaron brings a wealth of experience as a true teacher of the game.  He will use his experience and success in youth soccer to help our girls grow and succeed" said Bob Jenkins, Director of Coach and Player Development.