A Forsey to be reckoned with

John
John Browne
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Holy Cross striker forging a stunning career

Tyler Forsey

There hasn’t been a provincial senior soccer goal scorer like Tyler Forsey since Richard Kelly and going back even further to the days of George “Bow” Collier, Wils Molloy and Paul Reddy.

At six feet, the dynamic Holy Cross Kirby Group striker has size to go along with speed, strength and a nose for the net.

His 31 goals in 2013 is more than any of the local soccer observers can recall. His offensive output was one-third of his team’s 92 goals overall.

And he hasn’t picked his spots either.

He did score 11 against last-place Strikers FC which makes sense. If you are a dominant player, you will obviously dominate the weaker teams even more than the good ones. But just about half of his goals came against contenders such as Mount Pearl (7) and St. Lawrence (4) and Feildians (4).

Asked what it feels like to be compared to some of the province’s greatest players, Forsey said “It’s fantastic, a truly great feeling ... an honour.”

Especially, he said being mentioned in the same breath as Molloy, the man whom the scoring title trophy is named after.

“Of course, Wils was before my time, but any time the word striker or goal scorer is used, my father (Walt) always mentions him,” he said.

His success this season didn’t come by accident.

“I trained extra hard this off season and really felt my game was in a good place,” he said. “In order to be a great player you must expect quality from yourself.

Forsey also takes a little pride in being able to score against any team in the league.

“For me, as a striker, it’s very important to score against every team. Fortunately, I was able to do that, because if I scored all my goals against the weaker sides, then I honestly wouldn’t feel like a true scoring champion. That definitely gives me some extra satisfaction.”

Now comes the crunch time. The playoffs are next weekend in St. Lawrence, involving defending champion Holy Cross, the host Laurentians, Mount Pearl and Feildians.

This is the time when the really great players take it up a notch. This is when it counts. And Forsey knows this is the stage where he has to shine.

“It’s extremely important,” he said.

 “This (regular) season is over and done with now and we will begin from scratch again Labour Day weekend. Any one of the four remaining teams has a legitimate shot at raising the trophy. And playing down in St. Lawrence ... that’s not gonna be easy for anybody.

“But hopefully,” he added, “all goes as planned and Holy Cross can raise the trophy once again.”

Perhaps the most exciting thing about Forsey are his prospects for the future. He’s only 20 and, with more experience, the best is obviously yet to come.

“Tyler has had a phenomenal season,” said Holy Cross coach Mike Kirby. who admitted even he wasn’t expecting 31 goals from the young me.

“When Tyler is near the opponent’s goal, there is no one in the province with his ability to get a quality shot off.

“His speed is a big asset, but it’s his shooting ability that makes him so dangerous. He only needs a yard of space to get his shot off.”

Kirby said teams have keyed on Forsey at times this season, “but that only gives other players on our team extra space and we have several very dangerous attackers.”

The Holy Cross coach isn’t exaggerating about having other dangerous goal scorers on his club. In fact, five of the league’s top seven scorers are Crusader,  Steve Delong finished runner-up to Forsey with 16 goals. Jake Warren and Jon Hawco each scored 10 and Jeremy Babstock notched nine this season.

“We try to focus on attacking as a unit ,and Tyler has certainly benefited from that. It makes it hard for defenders to concentrate on one guy,” said Kirby.

There are still challenges ahead for Forsey. For example, there are some questions to be answered such as how well he’ll perform in the playoffs when it counts the most and how well he might do against mainland Challenge Cup competition, which separates the great from the merely very good.

Kelly, for example, had a penchant for scoring key goals in pressure situations during Challenge Cup playoff matches.

Reddy, one of the most reliable players in our soccer history, won several scoring titles including in 1981 when he scored 15 goals in 13 games, which is pretty well equal to Forsey’s 31 in 26 games.

And there’s the legend of Molloy’s incredible second-half performance in a game against Nova Scotia in the 1970 Challenge Cup.

Molloy was forced to sit out the first half having missed the team’s curfew the night before. Finally, 20 minutes into the second half, Molloy got the call to get into the game. He responded with five goals in the final 25 minutes as the Newfoundland representatives won 6-3.

And ask any keeper who had to face Collier one-on-one and they’ll tell you their life flashed before them.

Collier, Molloy, Kelly and Reddy are legends of the game. Forsey has a ways to go yet to be considered in that class.

Nice start, though.

BROWNIE POINTS

Feildians Ernst & Young soccer coach John Acreman says the top four Challenge Cup teams are so close this season that no one can say for sure who will come out of the semifinals. “I think the fans will be very excited about the (playoff) games, said Acreman. He is not alone in his assessment ... Long-time Royal St. John’s Regatta fan Mike Lee has an idea.  “I would  have liked to see the medal ceremony in a more orderly fashion with the third-place team getting theirs first and the second place second and ... the championship team last. This would keep people more interested and would add to the ceremony.” said Lee. “Also, (the medal ceremony) could take place in a more open space for all the people there to see. Maybe at the end of the boathouse towards the head of the pond.” ... Softball Newfoundland and Labrador turned 50 years old July 26. The founding meeting was held Saturday July 26, 1963 at 112 Military Road. (What was known in those days as the PC Club). That first meeting attracted delegates from seven, centres including St. John’s, C.B.S., C.B.N., Bell Island, Gander, Placentia and Argentia. The first elected executive included president Dee Murphy, vice-president Reg Caughie and secretary/registrar Vince Withers. Presidents over the years:  Denis (Dee) Murphy, 13 years (1963-1967 & 1969-1976);  Reg Caughie, 1 year (1968);  Alexander (Duey) Fitzgerald, 2 years (1977-1978);  Peter Harvey, 2 years (1979-1980);  Bill Abbott, 6 years (1981-1986);  Bob French, 9 years (1987-1995);  Ivan Hapgood, 6 years (1996-2001);  Lloyd Power, 7 years (2002-2008);  Ross Crocker, 4 years (2009-2012);  Paul Smith Sr. (2013) ...  Finishing tied with Prince Edward Island on two medals each at the 2013 Canada Games is a complete embarrassment for our province. Not that our government cares ... This assessment of Newfoundland’s Ciaran Hearn by The Province newspaper from last week’s rugby world qualifying match against the United States: “A quiet game. Defended well, but didn’t factor much on attack. Up against the youth of Seamus Kelly, you’d expect more ...  Horror movie director Rob Zombie, know for the grisly The Devil’s Rejects and House of 1,000 Corpses films, is a huge hockey fan. His next project is based on the Boston Bruins-Philadelphia Flyers rivalry in the 1970s. Zombie, who is also know for his heavy metal music, is writing and directing “Broad Street Bullies,” which begins shooting this winter in Canada and Philadelphia. Though he’s a Boston fan, Zombie said the Bruins are the main villain in the movie ... Did we really need a five-part series on the Wayne Gretzky trade?…

 

 

jbrowne@thetelegram.com

 

 

Organizations: Holy Cross Kirby Group, PC Club, Canada Games Rejects and House Boston Bruins-Philadelphia Flyers Bruins

Geographic location: Mount Pearl, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia 112 Military Road Bell Island Prince Edward Island United States Canada Philadelphia Boston

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Recent comments

  • George Bow Collier
    August 24, 2013 - 14:49

    In 1966 I played for the Guards in the St. John's senior soccer league. I was top scorer In Newfoundland that year.It was a 14 game schedule,now it is a 27 game schedule. I scored 20 goals that season, wils had 17, and Don rowe had 16. My average was 1.5 goals per game. In a 27 game schedule I would have scored approximately 40 goals. I wish Tyler all the best on Labour Day weekend. Bow Collier

    • J.Johnson
      September 07, 2013 - 15:40

      Mr. Collier, You scored your goals on the Air Athletic grounds which is now used by the under 12 kids. Anywhere on the field was in scoring distance.