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Reddy to go for national Challenge Cup

In this Aug. 9, 2015 file photo, file photo, Mark Reddy of Mount Pearl First Choice Haircutters is shown moving the ball through the midfield  during Molson Challenge Cup soccer action at the Gushue Complex in Mount Pearl. Reddy was part of Mount Pearl’s only Challenge Cup championship team in 2003 and the veteran believes this year’s squad can be the one to replicate that title win of 13 years ago. Mount Pearl is unbeaten in 14 games as it prepares to meet the league-leading Holy Cross Kirby Group Crusaders in the final game of the 2016 Challenge Cup regular season tonight at King George V Park in St. John’s. The same two teams will meet in the opening games of the playoffs, being held in St. Lawrence over the Labour Day weekend.</p>
In this Aug. 9, 2015 file photo, file photo, Mark Reddy of Mount Pearl First Choice Haircutters is shown moving the ball through the midfield  during Molson Challenge Cup soccer action at the Gushue Complex in Mount Pearl. Reddy was part of Mount Pearl’s only Challenge Cup championship team in 2003 and the veteran believes this year’s squad can be the one to replicate that title win of 13 years ago. Mount Pearl is unbeaten in 14 games as it prepares to meet the league-leading Holy Cross Kirby Group Crusaders in the final game of the 2016 Challenge Cup regular season tonight at King George V Park in St. John’s. The same two teams will meet in the opening games of the playoffs, being held in St. Lawrence over the Labour Day weekend.</p>

Even at age 35, and one of the elder statesmen on a fairly young Mount Pearl team, veteran midfielder Mark Reddy is still getting his kicks out of soccer.

“I have to say,” Reddy said Tuesday, on the eve of the national Challenge Cup championship, which opens today in metro St. John’s, “the feeling of playing soccer in the fall is a good feeling.”

The 2016 Challenge Cup campaign was Reddy’s 20th, after breaking into the senior ranks as a 15-year-old. And while he may have conceded a step or two and perhaps slowed down a bit, Reddy can still play, as witnessed by his season-ending league all-star selection.

But despite his longevity, this is only Reddy’s second Challenge Cup national championship (he competed nationally in age-group play and Canada Games) after Mount Pearl won its sole provincial title in 2003.

“This is what you play for,” Reddy said. “This is what I do. The reason I gave up senior hockey was to train and prepare for the soccer season.

“I love the competition, I love the dressing room and the team camaraderie. But mainly why I keep playing is a chance to win.”

Reddy is the son of former Holy Cross player and coach Gerry ‘Farmer’ Reddy, and it’s the father who often reminds the son that winning never gets old, and when you have a chance to win, grab hold of it.

“If my body lets me,” the younger Reddy said, “I’ll be playing until I’m 45.”

Mount Pearl enjoyed a surprising run in provincial Challenge Cup this season, finishing second behind Holy Cross in the regular season.

In the first game of the all-Newfoundland playoffs in St. Lawrence featuring both those clubs — with the winner moving directly into the final — Mount Pearl slipped past Holy Cross 3-2 on a goal in the 90th minute by former Crusader Scott Woodfine.

The host Laurentians — the other Newfoundland team entered in the nationals — beat Mount Pearl 2-1 in a provincial final that went to overtime.

Mount Pearl is entered in a group with St. Lawrence and Saskatchewan.

“I don’t know much about Saskatchewan, but I know the St. Lawrence game  (7 o’clock Thursday night at King George V Park) will be intense,” Reddy said. “They’re still strong.

“But I like our chances. We’re just as good, we’re fit and we’ve got some experience. We’d love to get some revenge on St. Lawrence, and we’d love to beat them on the national stage.”

 

rshort@thetelegram.com

 

Related stories:

Big Blue looks to add some gold

Holy Cross brings youth and experince to national Jubilee Trophy championship

Rosters for NL teams in national senior tournaments

NL rosters in Canadian age-group tourneys

   

 

“I have to say,” Reddy said Tuesday, on the eve of the national Challenge Cup championship, which opens today in metro St. John’s, “the feeling of playing soccer in the fall is a good feeling.”

The 2016 Challenge Cup campaign was Reddy’s 20th, after breaking into the senior ranks as a 15-year-old. And while he may have conceded a step or two and perhaps slowed down a bit, Reddy can still play, as witnessed by his season-ending league all-star selection.

But despite his longevity, this is only Reddy’s second Challenge Cup national championship (he competed nationally in age-group play and Canada Games) after Mount Pearl won its sole provincial title in 2003.

“This is what you play for,” Reddy said. “This is what I do. The reason I gave up senior hockey was to train and prepare for the soccer season.

“I love the competition, I love the dressing room and the team camaraderie. But mainly why I keep playing is a chance to win.”

Reddy is the son of former Holy Cross player and coach Gerry ‘Farmer’ Reddy, and it’s the father who often reminds the son that winning never gets old, and when you have a chance to win, grab hold of it.

“If my body lets me,” the younger Reddy said, “I’ll be playing until I’m 45.”

Mount Pearl enjoyed a surprising run in provincial Challenge Cup this season, finishing second behind Holy Cross in the regular season.

In the first game of the all-Newfoundland playoffs in St. Lawrence featuring both those clubs — with the winner moving directly into the final — Mount Pearl slipped past Holy Cross 3-2 on a goal in the 90th minute by former Crusader Scott Woodfine.

The host Laurentians — the other Newfoundland team entered in the nationals — beat Mount Pearl 2-1 in a provincial final that went to overtime.

Mount Pearl is entered in a group with St. Lawrence and Saskatchewan.

“I don’t know much about Saskatchewan, but I know the St. Lawrence game  (7 o’clock Thursday night at King George V Park) will be intense,” Reddy said. “They’re still strong.

“But I like our chances. We’re just as good, we’re fit and we’ve got some experience. We’d love to get some revenge on St. Lawrence, and we’d love to beat them on the national stage.”

 

rshort@thetelegram.com

 

Related stories:

Big Blue looks to add some gold

Holy Cross brings youth and experince to national Jubilee Trophy championship

Rosters for NL teams in national senior tournaments

NL rosters in Canadian age-group tourneys

   

 

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