STATESBORO, Ga. (WTOC) - Tormenta FC has three new additions to the club’s 2020 roster, and these three are very familiar with the club.
Tormenta signed academy players Stephen O’Hearn, Grant Hampton, and Tristan Deloach to pro contracts Thursday morning, calling them up to the club’s USL League One roster.
O’Hearn is a 16 year old goalkeeper who attends Savannah Arts Academy. Hampton is a 16 year old midfielder from Islands who made four appearances last season for Tormenta 2. Deloach is a 17 year old midfielder who attends Benedictine.
In 2019, Deloach became the franchise’s first youth program player to sign with the pro club and made one regular season appearance with the team.
“You can’t take this kind of thing for granted,” Deloach says. “I’m just really grateful for it. Not a lot of kids get this opportunity, and I need to take full advantage of it.”
“This is like my dream come true. I’ve always worked for this," O’Hearn says. “I’m just super grateful and glad to be one of the first people to do this in the southeast.”
The contracts are Professional Academy Contracts, meaning they will not effect the players’ eligibility if they choose to play college soccer in the future.
For now though, the trio gets the chance to suit up and practice and play against the pros. The new signees and the club say this move will only improve their skills and understanding of the game.
“If you look at the top clubs in the world, from Manchester United to Bayern Munich, this is what they’re doing," says Tormenta FC VP of Player Development and Head Coach John Miglarese. “They won’t be the best player on the field. They’ll have to be a little bit behind the pace. That’s the deep end that we’re throwing them into in order to fast track their development.”
“Playing with these dudes at a high class that have been to college and played professional everywhere, playing with them is going to increase my game heavily” Hampton says. "It’s going to be great for college or future pro opportunities.”
The three new signees will be with Tormenta’s top team when the club kicks off their second professional season on March 28. The club hosts North Texas SC in Statesboro to open the season.