Patience has been the key word so far this season for Rowdies forward Mike Ambersley. Ambersley has been carrying a knee injury for a significant portion of the Spring Season and has gradually been getting more game time in the last few weeks.
“It took a lot of hard work to get to this point but I wish I was back a little earlier,” commented Ambersley. “Ricky (Hill) was smart with me and he knew he had to ease me back into it. I’m good to go now, my body feels great and I’m happy to help the team in any way that I can”.
The Rowdies have definitely missed Ambersley’s presence on the field and he has seen some inconsistency in the side at times. “At times in the second half we take our foot off the pedal and let teams score on us and get ahead. Our job is to score goals, and as a team to not let goals in and that’s something we haven’t been able to do”
Fans can expect more consistency to come into the side as a result of Ambersley’s return. “I think I can add a bit more consistency attacking-wise”, Ambersley explained. “I just try to bring the ability to hold the ball up and get my other teammates involved in dangerous areas. My main focus is to score goals and hopefully create them too.”
Ambersley has proven in his years in Tampa Bay that he can do just that, scoring 19 goals and picking up 16 assists for the club in 62 appearances. Now that he is injury free, fans can expect those tallies to rise in the NASL Fall Season. Rowdies head coach Ricky Hill is excited to have him back in the lineup, as Ambersley can provide the team a spark in the attacking third.
“Mike’s experience speaks for itself,” said Hill. “He has a special ability to score goals and the last two seasons have proven that. Last season, not only did he manage to score goals, but he also set up plenty of goals including Antoniuk’s goal in the final against Minnesota.”
With two matches left in the NASL Spring Season, the Rowdies will first travel to Atlanta to face the Silverbacks on Saturday, June 22, while enjoying a bye the following weekend. The final match of the season is the traditional Fourth of July matchup against league rivals Ft. Lauderdale. The Strikers and Rowdies will face off on Thursday, July 4 at 6:30 p.m. ET at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg.
Photo Credit: FC Edmonton
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