How did a professional footballer from the USA end up playing in Southland in New Zealand. Here is Part 2 of the story of the well-traveled midfielder David Schipper.
In 2015 I signed a 3-year deal with Canadian Soccer League team York Region Shooters who are one of if not the most successful team in the league. In between my first and second season I got loaned out to Goituba Esporte Clube in Brazil, who play in the third division of the Campeonato Goiano. In 2016, coming back for my second season in Canada I was once again unfortunately coming off an injury I suffered in Brazil. This season was one for the record books for our club as we captured the fifth regular season championship in club history and first title in my professional career. Unluckily like the year before we suffered a devastating defeat in the semi finals of the playoffs and were eliminated sooner than expected.
2017, I was given the opportunity to play and represent my country once again but this time in Futsal and in Israel for the Maccabiah Games. It was truly such an honor and brought so much pride to me in being able to wear our country’s crest across my chest.
Also in 2017 I opted out of my third and final year of my contract in hopes of playing overseas in Europe. I received offers from Örebro Syrianksa IF of the Swedeish Football Division 2 in the Södra Svealand region, Ibiza Sant Rafel FC of the Tercera División de España who play in the Baleric Islands and Albatroz SC of the Latvian Second League. I agreed to terms and signed a 1 year contract with Albatroz SC in Latvia and was fortunate enough to lift up my second trophy as a professional soccer player as our team got crowned Champions of the Latvian Second League. Although we failed to gain promotion after such a successful season, we accomplished more than many believed we would.
2018, my agent asked me how I felt about playing in New Zealand and to be honest I didn’t really know much about it and after doing some research myself, I just said yes let’s do it.
I’m still young, I still get to do what I love and I get to see another part of the world that many people wish they could. So I signed a 2 year deal with Southern United FC of the New Zealand Football Championship for the summer league with an agreement to join Southland United FC in the Football South Premier League for the winter league. When I first got to New Zealand, I immediately joined Southland United in the winter league and we secured the team’s highest placing in teams history and secured ourselves a top 3 finish which confirmed our qualification in the South Island League which pair the top teams from Football South Premier League and Mainland Premier League to compete for a chance to get into the FIFA Club World Cup.
I flew back home at the conclusion of our season and had to get surgery in what many people thought would be career ending. I tore my hip labrum, had several tears in my groin, and had hip impingement. Got the surgery done, went through the toughest and most demanding physical therapy and treatment I’ve ever had to, and still to this date feel some pain and discomfort and after 9 months got back on the field and am currently in my second season here in New Zealand.
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