The Captain is here to stay.
After leading Real Monarchs to its most historic season that saw it claim the 2019 USL Championship Title, midfielder and team captain Jack Blake has re-signed with the Utah club ahead of the 2020 season.
“I’m buzzing to be back, I love it here,” Blake said. “I have built special relationships with fans, players, and staff within the organization that make it very difficult to want to leave.”
Blake made his Monarchs debut during the 1-0 win over Fresno FC in June of 2018 after joining the Utah team on loan from Tampa Bay Rowdies. Since then, Blake has made 48 appearances with 39 starts for 3,562 minutes. In that time, the Nottingham, England native has gone on to tally nine goals and two assists while adding three goals and an assist in the playoff push that lead the Monarchs to its first Championship Title win.
After signing permanently to the Monarchs ahead of the 2019 season, the experienced midfielder quickly assumed the role of team captain, providing leadership and someone to look up to for the quality young crop of young players on the roster.
“Leadership is something I pride myself on,” Blake said. “Whether it’s helping a young guy develop as a player on the field or to give advice off the field, I always treat them how I would have wanted to be treated when I was younger, as someone they can look up to. I believe it’s such an important role to play as an experienced guy in the locker room and something that is a key factor in the success of a team.”
The 2020 USL Championship Season – The sixth campaign for Real Monarchs – is sure to bring many new faces to the Zions Bank Stadium pitch, both young and experienced. Blake doesn’t believe that will be a problem for the defending 2019 USL Championship Title-Winners.
“We had basically a whole new group at the start of 2019 with numerous language barriers amongst the team,” Blake said. “We worked that out very quickly and all had the same common goal to win the championship. It is only going to take the same and more. The players that do return have to take on the responsibility as leaders of the group and help the new lads to settle in. At the end of the day, we are all a brotherhood that fight on and off the field for each other.”
Despite the added challenges language or having a different group, Jack Blake is more than confident heading into the next Championship season. Whether he is playing side-by-side with experienced players or providing a helping hand in developing the younger players from the RSL Academy and beyond, Blake is ready to lead the charge into the 2020 season.
“Having had the success we had last year will inevitably bring pressure and an expectation but it only gives me a sense of hunger to do it all over again after getting a taste of it in 2019,” Blake explained. “I’m excited to start the USL season as reigning champions and defend the title.”