by JAKE NUTTING
The Tampa Bay Rowdies have found their man to lead the club’s NPSL reserve squad, Rowdies 2. Former Ocala Stampede Head Coach Cheyne Roberts has been selected as the person to lead the new squad in its inaugural season.
At only 27, Roberts has already achieved some notable accomplishments during his three-year stint in charge of the Stampede. While in charge, he led the Premier Development League side to three straight Southeastern Division titles and made it to the league’s semifinal round of the playoffs in 2014 and 2015. The Stampede ceased operations shortly after the conclusion of last season.
In a conversation with The Unused Substitutes, Rowdies COO Lee Cohen noted Roberts’ strong network of connections with colleges both in Florida and throughout the Southeastern region of the country as a big contributing factor in him rising to the top over other candidates.
The new Rowdies 2 boss is a native of Plant City, Florida and attended Palm Beach Atlantic University, where he showed versatility by being named the Most Outstanding Offensive Player in the National Christian College Athletic Association tournament in his freshmen year and Most Outstanding Defensive Player in the same tournament the following season.
Roberts turned to the professional ranks when he signed with the USL’s Charlotte Eagles in 2010 and went on to make 44 appearances in three seasons with the club. He moved back to Florida in 2013 to join up with VSI Tampa Bay FC, but ultimately hung up his boots after making only a handful of appearances for the defunct USL side in order to take the coaching job with Ocala.