Hemming awaiting word from Grimsby
By KATHY RUMLESKI -- London Free Press
Tyler Hemming will be available to play in an exhibition match between the Canadian Professional Soccer League all-stars and 1860 Munich in two weeks. Whether or not he's around for his second season with London City is still uncertain. Hemming, 16, said he is waiting word on whether English First Division side Grimsby Town will offer him a scholarship to its youth academy. "They said they would phone me no matter what." Hemming is expected to hear from Grimsby Town soon. "They said probably they would offer me a youth-in-training. That would mean I'd go over there and stay there for two years and train with their program." Hemming said at the end of the two-year program, Grimsby Town may offer a professional contract or he may decide he wants to attend university. Grimsby Town has a working arrangement with the London Soccer Academy. The English club's coach of youth players, Ian Knight, spotted Fleming while on a visit to the academy. Academy director Cam Vassallo said Hemming's status is uncertain because the club is currently negotiating player contracts. "They really can't go to the next step until they finish that up. If some of the (youth-in-training scholars) have been given contracts, that would open up room for someone like Tyler," Vassallo explained. If he gets the nod from Grimsby Town, Hemming would move to England at the end of June or early July. Hemming said Knight told him he has the ingredients to be a professional player. But Hemming must be better than an English player the same age to get the invitation. "There's no point in bringing over a foreign player when they have an equal player over there," Hemming said. Hemming has been training with City for the past month. The CPSL season begins May 24. Hemming is looking forward to the chance to play against 1860 Munich of the German Bundesliga. "It's unreal . . . to watch a team of that calibre play." Along with Hemming, City's Gentjan Dervishi was chosen for the all-star squad. City's player-coach Jurek Gebcznyski was named to the coaching staff. The German consulate in Toronto arranged to have Munich come to Canada for the May 15 game, which will be played in Kitchener at Budd Park. The match is part of a doubleheader. A tri-city all-star team will play a new CPSL team, the Hamilton Thunder, at 6 p.m., followed by the feature game with Munich. Munich will also play the Milwaukee Rampage May 12 and the Toronto Lynx May 18. Both are A-League teams. Munich will be bringing most of its full squad to North America.