There were some in the local soccer fraternity who predicted Feildians Ernst & Young would crash and burn when they added Tyler Forsey to their lineup.
They may have a case.
Feildians, with scoring champion Forsey, finished out of the Challenge Cup soccer playoffs this season despite the fact the Double Blues made it to last year’s final without him.
Adding Forsey to the mix would upset the Double Blues team chemistry, some folks said.
Were they right?
Not according to Feildians player-coach John Acreman, who will tell anyone who’ll listen that Forsey had a positive impact on his club despite the team’s lack of success.
“Tyler is a good kid. I’ve got nothing but high regards for that boy,” Acreman said.
Forsey, the former Holy Cross striker who has also played with St. Lawrence and Mount Pearl, led the league with 14 goals in 18 games, including a four-goal performance against St. Lawrence on the final regular-season weekend.
My guess is that he’s the first player to win the scoring race on a last-place team.
In any case, St. Lawrence coach Derek Strang, while admitting Forsey is very dangerous “given time and space,” suggested the Labatt Laurentians didn’t field their best team.
“Not wanting to risk injury or suspensions in a meaningless game, we played a lot of young fellas. including our ’keeper Alex Smith,” Strang said.
However, Strang also said Feildians played the game “with dignity and played their hardest, as they should have. They deserved the win.”
St. Lawrence is preparing for Friday’s Molson Coors Challenge Cup semifinal match against Mount Pearl First Choice Molson.
That match gets underway 7 p.m. at King George V Park, with the winner meeting the first-place Holy Cross Kirby Group Crusaders 2:30 p.m. Sunday.
Acreman, meanwhile, went on to say that Forsey, coming off a 31-goal season with the Crusaders, was a pleasure to coach this year.
“He showed up to every training session. And those he couldn’t attend, he’d tell you beforehand. He worked extremely hard. I didn’t have any issue with him.”
“He’s only a young man. He still has parts of his game to work on, but that’s like anyone else his age,” said Acreman of the 21-year-old Forsey.
Of course, it could also be argued Holy Cross didn’t win last year’s semifinal because Forsey wasn’t in the lineup for that key match.
In the meantime, Acreman sees Feildians rebounding next year.
Feildians finished last in the four-team league, earning five points less than third-place Mount Pearl.
“We knew at the start of the season there were four good teams in the league,” Acreman said.
“There were no weak teams this season.
Asked if there were a couple of games his team should have won, Acreman answered: “Oh geez, there were multiple games this year like that.
“Sometimes. the soccer gods are with you and sometimes they’re no.” he said. “And sometimes you’re simply unlucky.”
Acreman said he could point to games where they hit the wrong side of the crossbar or missed a tackle that led to an opposition goal.
“It was a matter of inches in several games,” he said.
However, Acreman said Feildians Athletic Association has a strong youth program foundation that continues to produce talented young players.
“I’m extremely proud of the work our association is doing. If you continue to do the right things, eventually you are going to be rewarded.”
Mount Pearl Electronic Centre Molson player coach Aoife Bodman on Kirby United’s domination of the Breen’s Jubilee Women’s Soccer League again this season:
“There has been talk about some sort of draft system to make the teams more competitive, but I don’t like the idea of telling players they can’t play for a certain team or telling them they have to play for a certain team.”
Bodman said it’s up to the teams to create an environment that makes young players want to play for a certain club.
“If you have the right coaches and philosophy then you should be able to draw players to you.”
She also said, “If you are looking for a team where you are going to play more minutes on the field, then perhaps Kirby isn’t the team for you (especially) if they have already have two or three people in your position who are stronger or just as strong as you. Do you want to spend half your time on the bench or do you want to play 90 minutes?”
Kirby United, which went undefeated during the regular season while scoring 91 goals and giving up 19, defeated Mount Pearl 8-0 in this year’s final.
How is this good for women’s soccer?
What’s in a name?
A team with Kirby in its title can claim seven straight Breen’s Jubilee Trophy women’s soccer championships.
Kirby-sponsored core players have been on championship teams since 2008 when EPR Kirby/The Dock beat Holy Cross 4-0.
However, the basic team has changed its name several times, including 2013, when it won the Jubilee Trophy title under the name C.B.S. Holy Cross Kirby Group.
So let’s just say a team that included the name ‘Kirby’ has won seven straight years.
By the way, Mount Pearl defeated Holy Cross/The Keg 2-1 for the 2007 championship before a Kirby-sponsored team took over.
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