Shortly after being announced as the first president of the East End Army, we chatted up Mark Cole about his position, some general thoughts on the club, the town of Bethlehem - and of course his predictions for this year.
Brotherly Game: You have to be really excited to have a club this close to home.
Mark Cole: I'm stoked. I've been wondering if this would ever happen, seeing as the Phillies and Flyers have both placed their minor league teams in the Lehigh Valley.
tBG: Can you please clarify the names, as I've seen a few ideas thrown around. I understand the section you'll be sitting in is called The Forge?
MC: The supporter's group name is the East End Army. The section we will be sitting in is The Forge.
tBG: And will you be running closely alongside the Sons of Ben or will you be completely your own entity?
MC: As for the Sons of Ben, we are our own entity, but I'd love for us to link up for charity events and such. We hope to have our own events and plan to support their efforts to make Chester a better place, while we do the same here in Bethlehem. We will likely have people who are members of both groups, so it will be nice to work together.
I also asked Mark what he thought heading into the season and what he wanted out of the club. He brought up some interesting ideas related to the Steel possibly getting Leo Fernandes instead of the New York Cosmos, and also discussed the possibility of bringing in Brian Sylvestre from the Carolina Railhawks. He wants the Steel to develop players which would hopefully include some of the Union draft picks this year.