Former Charlton Athletic Apprentice, Callum Christie, helped Lindsey Wilson College to its eighth NAIA National Championship as the Blue Raiders defeated the Master’s College (California) 1-0 on Saturday at Ramirez Field.
Goalkeeper, Christie, who was the subject of a Four Four Two article in August was spotted by Lindsey Wilson’s coaching double act Ray Wells (Head Coach) and Gavin Oldham (Assistant) at LFE’s 2009 Assessment Trials and has played an integral part in the Blue Raiders success this season which has seen them lose just twice in 23 matches.
With a record of 20 victories from those fixtures many would point to the attacking prowess of the squad but Assistant Coach, Oldham, himself a former Apprentice at Oldham Athletic believes that Christie’s influence has played a major part in their success.
“In any season to win 20 matches from 23 is pretty exceptional but while we have an impressive scoring record any success we have is due to the solid foundations we have in defence and Callum is a key part of that.”
“You can see that he’s got all round quality, whether it’s his handling, shot stopping or simply communication with the rest of the back four, the fact that we’ve kept clean sheets in almost 50 per cent of our matches tells its own story about the way Callum and our defence has performed.”
With Head Coach Wells and Oldham already turning their attention to planning for next season and the prospect of successfully defending the NAIA National Championship, they have already tapped into the talent on offer at LFE’s Assessment Trials by recruiting Joe Tait (ex-Hartlepool Utd) and Greg Hartley (ex-Man City) who will integrate in to their squad next summer.
“The addition of Joe and Greg will potentially bring something else to the party but we aim to be equally as strong next term as this. We’ll certainly be heading across to the UK again to look at the lads available at LFE’s Assessment Trials because of the quality they bring and the way they are able integrate with our other players.”