An Interview with Jamaican Andrea Gauntlett, Football Club Owner

Q: Who or what motivated you to buy the Greater Lowell NPSL Football Club?
It was the NPSL review Board that motivated me to buy the NPSL club. My predecessors had lost their membership and I attempted to reinstate them. The review board said it required “good business partners” and asked if I would consider stepping up and leading the operation. That was the beginning of my ownership journey.

Q: What was your profession before you bought the team?
I came from an insurance claim background but I have been in training for this role my entire life. I am simply someone who strives to fulfill a need and once that is accomplished I move on to the next challenge. My claims job ended after the birth of my son. (He has been the turning point in my career trajectory.) Then my family relocated to Massachusetts. The next seven years were spent navigating my children through the educational system. I then returned to the workforce where I helped helping low income families to become self-sufficient. Next, I enrolled at Cambridge College and completed a Master of Management degree in 2012.

Q: Did you face any challenges in mobilizing your capital to buy the team?
Yes. I withdrew $75k from my 401K and that incurred a hefty tax penalty. But that’s all good – I know what I did with the funds. Next, I was blessed with a business line of credit from Eastern Bank. That organization has been monumental in helping a plethora of small businesses to stabilize their operations.

Q: Tell us about the team and the league?
GLNPSLFC consists of male soccer players who aspire to play at a professional level. Players range in age from 18-28. We currently have five High School players on the team. They are an example of what training and character can accomplish. One player got his first break at 15 when the team was plagued with injuries and they had just a 9-man squad. He filled in for an intense 90 minutes. The following year he debuted against the New York Cosmos B and was a threat as they had to foul him repeatedly. We currently have 28 players on our squad. Our season is 3 months long and consists of 12 matches. We play in the National Premier Soccer League which is level 4 on the U.S. soccer pyramid (MSL, NASL, ASL, NPSL). Each year players are nominated for an All Star combine that enables them to be scouted by professional teams. Hence, playing in the NPSL allows players the visibility to get to the next level.

Q: Currently what is your biggest challenge as it relates to the Greater Lowell NPSL Football Club?
Currently, my biggest challenge is finding a sponsor for my team. Sponsorship would allow me to offset some of the operating expenses for Uniforms, Field rentals, Hotel and Transportation costs to away games.

Q: Are there any Jamaican players on the team?
Yes: Patrick Hamilton of Dracut, MA and Karl Gauntlett of Tyngsborough, MA
We also have a practice player, Kamar Blake
Also, the cHead coach is of Jamaican heritage (British born Jamaican).

Q: What is your proudest moment since becoming the owner of the Greater Lowell NPSL Football Club?
My proudest moment was when I accomplished the feat of sending four (4) players to the All Star combine in California. Each team submits nominations but it is rare to have 100% approval. The foursome enjoyed their experience and were able to inspire others due to that experience.

Q: What motivates you on a day to day basis?
I am motivated by several things: My close knit group of family and friends that believe in me and my capabilities are a constant source of inspiration. There is also my positive outlook; and seeing the people I have helped in small ways go on to achieve great successes. I am energized when seeing people rise above their circumstances!

Q: How do you motivate people that aren’t close to you and enable them to see your vision?
I am able to motivate people by finding out what matters to them and then finding ways to help them achieve their objectives.

Q: How do you remind yourself of what’s important?
I remind myself of what’s important by focusing on those things that will bring about positive outcomes. I am an eternal optimist!

Q. Do you have any hobbies?
My hobbies are People (meeting and exchanging ideas) Traveling, Reading, and Tennis,

Q: Seven day, six night, all expense paid, my vacation destination is…
Europe – Since childhood, I have cherished the idea of one day visiting Scotland.

Q: My favorite guilty pleasure is…
My guilty pleasure is my faith based belief. It is what keeps me grounded and sustains my resilience. I meditate on the word for guidance and inspiration.

Q: My favorite Jamaican food is…
Oxtail with Rice and Peas

Q: Thanks for spending a few moments with us. Where can we find more information on the team?
“Nowhere To Go But Up” This Weekend Against Cosmos B:
Background info:

About the author

Xavier Murphy