Englishman appreciates atmosphere in debut at Brookhaven Academy

Published 2:17 pm Wednesday, October 25, 2023

BROOKHAVEN — Yohan Hernandez scored a hat trick in Brookhaven Academy’s 10-2 win over Hattiesburg Forerunners Tuesday evening. The win opened the 2023 season for Brookhaven Academy.

Newcomers Noah Fisher-Butler and Jesus Antonio scored two goals each in the match. Cooper Strickland directed a free kick taken by Fisher-Butler with his head into the goal, Andrew Estess  and Trace Garrett scored goals in the win.

Fisher-Butler finished the game with two goals, three assists and was the best player on the pitch. He smiled, celebrated and hugged his teammates with each goal. His teammates are his closest friends here. 

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“It is a different feeling in America. There isn’t as much of a crowd in England for my games. Here you do,” Fisher-Butler said. “It’s different over there. We typically play on a big field and there are other fixtures going on. Here it is just a better feeling.”

Studying across the pond

The Englishman is from a town called Thetford which is in between outside of Cambridge and Norwich. He grew up playing soccer, or “football,” as the English call it, with his older brothers. Fisher-Butler said he was two or three when he started. 

His brother Patrick Fisher-Butler is on scholarship playing American Football in New York at Monroe College. Noah’s second brother is named Theo and he is back home in England working and his younger brother and sister are still in England. 

Noah said back home he is with a club team called the Harling Colts which play in the Norfolk Combined Youth Football League. His mom and Head Coach Alex Brown shared a mutual friend on Facebook and Fisher-Butler saw a chance to study abroad in the US. 

He said everything in America is just bigger compared to England. The heat got to him at first as he didn’t realize how hot the weather would be. 

“I’m trying to do the best I can,” Fisher-Butler said. “I hope to gain more friendships and get to know everyone and just be myself. It is a different atmosphere here. It was hard to get used to living apart from my family at first but I’ve settled into more of a lifestyle now.” 

Noah said he sent his family the link to BACougars.live  and hopes they are able to watch him throughout the season. Thetford is six hours ahead of Brookhaven so the match would have started at midnight Tuesday. 

Growing as a player

Noah said he supports premier league side Manchester City and takes inspiration from City’s midfielder Kevin De Bruyne. The Belgian De Bruyne is renowned for his passing ability and how he gets the ball to attacking players. De Bruyne is not afraid to take a shot from distance either. 

“He gets the ball and he knows what to do with it,” Noah said. “I aspire to be like him.” 

His quality of play really impacts the team dynamic. The game flowed beautifully Tuesday night in the attacking third of the pitch with wonderful thru balls, crosses and teamwork. 

Noah recently finished his year 11 in England and is considered a sophomore in the US. Back home in England, students can continue education in sixth form or go to University after year 11. 

He hopes to play soccer for as long as he can. 

“I love playing sports. I just love the feeling when I’m playing and putting the hard work in,” Noah said. “Everything around football (soccer)l gets me excited and I want to play even more.”