The league is down to three senior teams, but the coaches agree substraction should add to the competitiveness of the Breen’s Jubilee Cup women’s soccer league this summer.
The league incudes defending champion Holy Cross Kirby Group along with Mount Pearl Electronic Centre which has merged with Molson while the third team is Feildians Facey Financial Planning.
Feildians coach Jamie Roche said, “It’s disappointing that there are only three teams but those three teams will be very competitive. I think it will be pretty close in terms of the standings this year.”
Four minor teams — St. John’s and Mount Pearl U16 and U18 — will play the first two rounds on an exhibition basis only.
However, the senior coaches agree St. John’s U16 team, which is coached by Jake Stanford, can’t be taken for granted and is every bit as talented as the senior clubs.
The season begins Monday with the Kick for the Cure fundraising event which will promote awareness and raise funds for breast cancer.
The opening game at Mount Pearl Gushue Complex at 6:45 p.m. features Mount Pearl Electronic Centre Molson vs Feildians Facey Financial. The doubleheader will conclude with Mount Pearl U16 vs Mount Pearl U18 at 8:45.
The opening game at King George V Park will is set for 8:30 p.m. featuring Holy Cross-Kirby Group and St. John’s U16.
The final playoff weekend has been changed to Labor Day and will be held at KGV. With only three senior teams, there will be a change in the playoff format, with the first place team after the regular season advancing straight to the final and two vs three playing with the winner advancing to the final. The semifinal game will be played Thursday, Sept.1, and the final Saturday, Sept. 3.
Here’s a look at the three teams competing for the championship.
Holy Cross Kirby Group
2010 record: 16-2-2
Coach: Scott Betts (currently on vacation in Florida)
Who’s gone: Star Laura Breen may miss the entire season due to knee surgery.
Who’s back: Among the returnees are Nicole Moores, Ashley Dawe, Leighanne Tobin, Leslie Pope, Maria Oliver, Janine Bursey, Nichole Adams and Julia Whitten.
Who’s new: Among the newcomers is midfielder Kiley Snow who played five years with Cape Breton University, Kaelyn Burke and Erika Lannon.
Outlook: Moores, a nine-year veteran who is in her fourth season with Holy Cross Kirby says this is the best team “on paper” the team has had in her time with the squad.
The team obviously isn’t looking past the local league, but Moores said their long-term goal is not only to get back to the nationals but to win a medal.
Feildians Facey Financial
2010 won-lost-tied record: 7-8-5
Coach: Jamie Roche
Who’s gone: Lindsey Reddy, Susan Coffey
Who’s back: Jessica Wade, Hillary Hutton, Kathy Hurley, Nicola Facey, Nicole Smith, Amanda Roche, Tara Andrews, Sarah Scruton, MacKenzie Thomas,Sarah Facey, Erin Prim, Meghan Felt, Susan Breen
Who’s new: Niki Locke, Jen Murphy, Leslie Bradshaw, Sue Myrden, Fiona Curtis.
Outlook: Roche figures his team is “five times” as good as last year’s team which lost the provincial Jubilee final 3-1 to Holy Cross Kirby Group.
“We’ve made a number of addition including two players from Mount Pearl — Niki Lock and Jen Murphy who weill help us. We’ve strengthened ourselves in every position and I think the depth will make us a lot better this time around.”
Roche said the team has gotten stronger in areas where they needed to improve such as centre midfield, the backline and goal scoring.
“We’ve added five key players that will help us in several areas.
“Our biggest problem last year,” he added, “was or inability to score goals and we’ve addressed that this year.”
Mount Pearl Electronic Centre Molson
2010 record: 7-11-2
Coach: Jim Hamlyn
Who’s gone: Niki Locke, Jen Murphy, Karen Norman, Fiona Curtis.
Who’s back: Among those returning are Lauren Windsor, Paula Whitten, Aoife Bodman, Kim Kennedy, Heather Slaney, Kristen Elliott and Erin Edwards.
Who’s new: Jamie Warren, Dana Brewer, Kim Hickman, Lauren Murphy, Simon Quinlan., Heather Spurrell, Alex White-Dzuro, Stephanie Malone and Cam Reid
Outlook: This time around Hamlyn had much more players to pick from. He said Molson had about 17 or 18 players and his club had 12 or 13.
“The big thing for us is that we’ll get new players from Molson who have come up through the St. John’s or Mount Pearl system and they’ve played on provincial teams and some of them are in the Memorial Sea-Hawks program.
“It’s a win-win for the women’s game. It’s good for our club because it allows us to have a stable environment going forward and it’s a good quality, competitive team for our younger players who are just behind.
“We are a young team, but we should be a good steady club. I think we’ll be better collectively than individually. We don’t have a lot of stars, but we’ve got a lot of good, honest players, some of whom have played in the Canada Games.”