CFC and Red Wolves Enjoy Soccer Tradition of Walk Out With Kids
Chattanooga-(WDEF-TV) Sometimes before football games, you see players lock arms and march out on the field together. But soccer has a more distinctive pre-game show of camaraderie.
The players walk-out on the field holding hands with kids, and both the Chattanooga Red Wolves and CFC carry on this soccer tradition.
Said Red Wolves coach Tim Hankinson: “Under FIFA, which is the international way both teams come out standing side-by-side, every player with a young player, and holding them during the national anthem right in front of them. I mean if you are one of those kids, you have just never felt anything like that.”
Said CFC head coach Bill Elliott: “Teams and clubs are always looking for ways to connect with the fans, and that’s one of the possible ways. You pair the kids up, and they get to walk out on the field and feel like they are apart of the game. You hope they have a good experience and connect with the players, and then they want to come back and see more.”
Said Red Wolves player Eamon Zayed: “It’s great when you’re walking in, and you see a big smile on their faces. All of them want to give you a high five. It’s a good experience. I love it.”
Said CFC player Daniel Valenciano:”One kid was like hey Danny look, those are my parents. He already knows where his parents are, so he just wanted to say hi to his parents like hey look, I’m on the field where they’re going to play.”
Said Zayed:”Sometimes you get with the away games some cheekier kids who are like, I hope you lose tonight. (chuckles) That’s always. That’s always funny.”
Said CFC player Juan Hernandez:”They’re really funny questions. Not necessarily over the line, but kids have things on their mind. Sometimes one person. One kid asked me if spiders. What was my favorite spiders? I’m like I don’t really like spiders.”(laughs)
Said Red Wolves play Yaya Cisse:”For me it’s where are you from? I tell them I’m from Africa. They’re like whoa. Kids are curious. Some of them have never been there, and they want to know how I got here.”
Said Elliott:”I think that walking out with the kids from a player’s point of view reminds you of when the game was not only about results, but about fun. It helps you kind of reconnect with your own youth.”