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Ian Antley Re-Signs with the Kickers for 2021

By Patrick Wood, 12/07/20, 12:25PM EST


Defender Returns to Richmond for Second Season

RICHMOND, Va. – (Monday, December 7, 2020) – The Richmond Kickers have re-signed defender Ian Antley for the 2021 season, pending USL League One and USSF approval. 
"Ian signing here for 2021 was a priority for us this offseason,” said Darren Sawatzky, Kickers Chief Sporting Officer and Head Coach. “We believe he had a good first year as a professional and his ceiling is high. He represents another important piece back in the team as we build the project here. We look forward to seeing him on the pitch at City Stadium.”
Signing his first professional deal with the Kickers in 2020, Antley played and started nine matches his rookie season before an unfortunate injury at Union Omaha on September 26 cut his season short. Making an immediate impact on the team at both ends of the field, Antley was named into USL League One Team of the Week twice. He had three assists for the season (tied for second on the team), led the team in tackles won (3.8 per 90 minutes), ranked second in interceptions (6.7 per 90 minutes) and third in ball recoveries (7.1 per 90 minutes).
“It feels great to have the belief from Darren, as well as the Richmond Kickers organization to have me back for a second year here in Richmond,” commented Antley. “A year ago Darren gave me the opportunity to represent this city and I couldn’t be more excited to be returning to finish what we started last season. What I look forward to most is being back in front of the fans and the Red Army in City Stadium. As a first year pro, this past year definitely had its challenges, but having the Red Army show up to every home game definitely gave us an advantage and I look forward to having the best fan section in League One back in City Stadium soon!”
Two of Antley’s three assists were on game-winning goals and all three came in victories for Richmond. The first of those came at City Stadium in the first home match of the season, a 1-0 win over Forward Madison FC. Antley served up Emiliano Terzaghi nine minutes into the match for the only goal of the match in the Henny Derby. His most notable assist came August 21 on the road at New England Revolution II. With the game tied at 1-1, Antley served in a long range cross towards the back post as Ryley Kraft slid in for the game-winner. The third assist was to the league MVP once again, this time to level the score against Fort Lauderdale CF as the Kickers would go on to take victory.
A four-year standout at Mercer University, Antley made 56 appearances for the Bears, scoring three goals and adding eight assists. He was one of three Mercer athletes to pick up NSCAA All-South Region honors twice in a career. During his senior season, Antley was co-captain for the team, leading them to the 2016 Southern Conference tournament championship. 
“Some of my goals for the 2021 season is to obviously win the championship,” Antley continued. “Coming in with the mentality is important. This year I think we have a different mindset. A mindset that we know we can win this league and other teams know we aren’t going to be a fun and easy game. I obviously have individual goals I’m working towards as well but individual success comes with team success. When we succeed as a group I’m confident the individual goals I have for myself will follow.”
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