It was a quick turnaround for soccer player Jordi Slaney, who has already had a very busy summer.
Slaney, who played on the provincial Challenge Cup-winning St. Lawrence Laurentians two weekends ago, joined the Memorial Sea-Hawks Atlantic University Sport (AUS) squad a day later. He’ll compete with the Laurentians in Halifax Oct. 9-14 for the Canadian senior men’s championship.
Prior to playing with the Laurentians and the Sea-Hawks, Slaney represented the province at the Canada Summer Games in Sherbrooke, Que.
Newfoundland and Labrador as a province did poorly at the recent Summer Games, but the boys’ soccer team may have surprised some people with a fourth-place finish, the best of any provincial sports team.
Slaney, who scored on a sublime free kick against Quebec at the Games, wasn’t surprised the team played well.
“No, I wasn't surprised at all,” he said. “Our team had been preparing for the Canada Games for almost two years. We had a strength and conditioning program, we had training sessions, and we also competed in the Challenge Cup league this year before going away for the Games.
“Our team was as prepared as we could have been. We knew it would be a challenge, but we set our goal to win a medal, and we weren’t very far off.”
He said it was tough coming so close to a medal.
“Once we actually arrived in that bronze-medal game, we realized that all of our work we put into the team had paid off. It was unfortunate that it didn’t work out the way we had planned, but we were still proud of the effort we put in and how we represented each other and our province,” said Slaney.
Slaney, whose brother Stefan also plays on the Sea-Hawks, said the mainland competition was good, especially teams such as Ontario and Quebec.
“They have fast, quick, skilled players, but we could compete with them.”
The main difference?
“They just have so many more players to choose from. We may have 50 players at a tryout, where they have thousands. That’s the biggest difference.
“Also, it has only been the last three years or so that we have had an indoor turf facility to play all year round. Before then, teams from Newfoundland could only really train together six or seven months of the year.”
Slaney said the Canada Summer Games was an incredible experience that he will remember for the rest of his life.
“The whole atmosphere, the games, everything.
“One of the biggest things that I will take away from the whole thing is the friendships I made with my teammates. They are a great bunch of guys that I will never forget. Winning isn't everything, and sometimes the destination isn’t as important as the journey.”
After a week and a half of practicing with the under-23 Dresden Dynamos in Germany, Newfoundland’s Tyler Forsey has decided to pursue other options.
After only three days of training, he was invited to play in an exhibition game against a Czech Republic first division side.
“I was shocked to learn the U23s only get paid 300 euros ($400 Can.) per month,” said Forsey. “So, for me, it was a senior contract or nothing.
“I have other professional options on the table that I will be pursuing,” Forsey told me in an e-mail Tuesday.
Forsey thanked his family, friends and Holy Cross teammates for their support in his endeavour.
“It was very much appreciated,” he said.
There are lots of rumours going around as to why Sean Drew left Mount Pearl That Pro Look/Molson to join St. Lawrence Labatt Laurentians this season.
Drew turned out to be the hero of the 2013 Molson Challenge Cup soccer championship tournament last weekend in St. Lawrence with three goals in two games, including two in the 2-0 victory over Feildians/Ernst & Young in the final.
Here’s what Drew had to say when I asked him why he made the change.
“I had originally planned to play with St. Lawrence when I finished playing under-18, but I was given the opportunity to play with Mount Pearl’s Challenge Cup team as a 17-year-old.”
He noted he was already a part of the Mount Pearl minor soccer association having played on its U18 team.
“I got to know the guys from Mount Pearl and enjoyed being part of their association, but this summer I decided that I needed a change and since I had once promised the Laurentians that I would play with them, it seemed like they would be a good fit.”
It’s turned out to be a pretty good fit so far.
Brad Ezekiel homered in his last at bat two weeks ago to give 3Cheers/Bud Light the Canadian senior men’s softball championships, and then homered in his first game back in the Molson St. John’s Senior Softball League last Tuesday in his first at bat ... Check out the You Can Play Project video on the Memorial Athletics website ... It’s been a tough season for The Rock rugby club. Here’s a list of some of their injuries: Scott Forrest (disc problem), Cyril Bugden (torn hamstring), Patrick McNicholas (hand tendon injury), Bryce Thomassin (injured nerve root), Dean Blanks (fractured skull) and Alex Rogers (concussion). When you consider the team has had to play four games in 16 days (very tough for rugby) with limited roster choices, it’s understandable why they’ve strugged this season. These are not excuses, just facts … Would like to see the look on Quebec premier Pauline Marois’ face if she saw St. Lawrence Laurentians players kneeling for a brief prayer before a game at Canadian Challenge Cup chamionships next time the event is in that province given the premier’s “Charter of Values” plan. The players would probably be looking at at jail time...Did you know the Grey Cup of today still says “Presented to the rugby football champions.”