After the re-signing of Will Bruin, Giles Barnes, and Tyler Deric was announced, Keeper Notes had an opportunity to join a conference call with the three players. Some of the topics discussed included their aspirations with the club, pressure of new contracts, and why they decided to re-sign.
When it came to negotiating new contracts, each player brought up their personal experience with the process that took place and their emotions surrounding the negotiations.
Deric mentioned his delight in finally being able to negotiate a contract as a starter, and that he enjoyed being involved in those discussions. When asked if he ever looked at other options, Deric stated, “This is the club I’ve wanted to play for since the first day I played with the Academy.” He also treasured all the opportunities that the team has given throughout his career and especially during his rocky start.
According to Deric, another reason why he decided to remain with the team is that he sees how much he has improved as a goalkeeper working alongside Paul Rodgers. While Tim Hanley helped make him into the goalkeeper he is today, his work with Rodgers has allowed him to grow different aspects of his game. Rodgers’ goalkeeper coaching style was described as more “new school” in contrast to Hanley’s “old school” approach. The difference being that Hanley used to focus on the fundamentals while Rodgers sets up barriers that cover vision and mimics real game scenarios.
The re-signing of Giles Barnes came as no surprise as the club had already confirmed his return a few weeks prior to Tuesday’s announcement. It should come as no surprise, and was mentioned by Barnes, that there were teams calling the Houston Dynamo asking questions about his availability. Barnes made it no secret that he had offers from England and could have returned overseas if he wanted to. However, his close relationship with Owen Coyle was something that came into play during negotiations that had been going on for a while.
Much like Deric, Barnes also expressed that he wanted to repay the club for the opportunities given him to him over the past few years. Prior to signing with the Houston Dynamo, Barnes was coming off of two major injuries that saw his value dip. During this time of need, the Dynamo helped him regain his confidence and showed faith in his return. He never had any doubts that he wanted to stay with the club.
Since 2016 has Jamaica participating in Copa America Centenario and World Cup Qualifying, Barnes stated that he will discuss his options with the national team in order to better balance his schedule. Last year, he played through injuries and exhaustion, and his performance suffered in the latter half of the season as a result. This is something that he aims to change in the upcoming season. As much as he enjoys and considers it an honor to play for the Jamaican National Team, Barnes stated that his commitment lies with the Houston Dynamo.
When the same question was posed to Will Bruin about contract negotiations and the added pressure that comes along with receiving a large raise – sources indicate that his salary has doubled – it was apparent that there’s a contrast in his approach to the new contract relative to Deric and Barnes. Bruin bristled at the notion that there was added pressure to perform given his pay increase, and stated that he feels that he’s “earned the contract throughout the years that I have been with the club.”
Bruin indicated that he looked into the option of playing in Belgium and France, both of which have a transfer window coming up in January. According to the forward, he was always going to choose what was best for him and his new family – Bruin has a wedding coming up in a couple of weeks – but in the end the money was right to stay. However, even if the money was right, Bruin suggested that would not have stayed with the club if he was not assured there was going to be immediate success with it. Bruin went as far as to state, “I’m here to win.”
In terms of performance expectations, Bruin stated that his goal has always been to perform better than the person across from him, regardless of whether the other player makes five thousand or five million dollars.
All three players mentioned that they discussed the future of the club with Owen Coyle and their ambition is to start winning now rather than later. Bruin added that if he felt that winning would come later rather than sooner, he would not have agreed to stay with the club. However, in the end all three players are confident in that the club is going in the right direction and big things are soon to come for the Houston Dynamo.