HAMDEN, Conn. – Former Quinnipiac University men's soccer standout Simon Hinde has signed a professional contract with Ayia Napa F.C. of the Cypriot First Division, which is the highest division of men's soccer in Cyprus.
"It feels amazing to have reached my goal of becoming a professional footballer," Hinde said. "It's been a long hard road but I'm over the moon it has happened. Quinnipiac was a large catalyst to becoming a pro, the coaches and players helped me reach the next level and I'll always remember them for that. I was happy to help the program win some trophies and I believe there are plenty more for the cabinet!"
Ayia Napa is coming off an impressive campaign in which the squad won the Cypriot Second Division to earn a spot in the First Division. The top two teams in the Second Division move to the First Division for the following season. Ayia Napa posted a 19-3-6 record and owned a 2/1 goals to goals-against ratio throughout the year. Hinde looks to bolster the Ayia Napa midfield in hopes of dethroning APOEL, a club that has clinched back-to-back First Division titles.
Hinde helped Quinnipiac to one of its most memorable seasons in program history this past year. Quinnipiac earned its first NCAA Tournament appearance after advancing by way of penalty kicks in the MAAC Championship game. The Bobcats knocked off top-seeded Monmouth, 4-3, and earned a first round clash with nationally-ranked No. 10 (at the time) UConn.
The Canberra, Australia native finished with 10 goals and one assist for a total of 21 points in his final year of collegiate eligibility. Included in the 10 goals were five game-winners, one of which came in the team's final regular-season game to clinch a share of the 2013 MAAC Regular Season Title. His 10 goals this past season left him just outside of 10th place all-time for most goals in a season at Quinnipiac, and had him ranked amongst the national and MAAC leaders as well.
Ayia Napa begins the 2014-15 season on Friday, August 22, 2014 against Ethnikos Achna. Achna finished ninth in the First Division last season. The 12-team league consists of 22 games (home-and-away) and concludes with a second-round playoff system (10 more games). The bottom two teams will be demoted to the Cypriot Second Division.
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