A lot happens behind scenes for Calgary Minor Soccer players
By April Cruz
The field at Ernest Manning stayed hot and dry Saturday afternoon for Calgary minor soccer action. The under 16 boys on Blizzard Riot took on Chinook United 97 in Tier 1 level competition.
While lightening was causing the cancellation of soccer games in the south of Calgary, there was an electric quality to the energy of this game in the North.
The intensity on the field may be the direct results of some recent experiences these boys have shared.
Blizzard’s coach, Robert Wollmann provided some insight.
“It was a good game today. The boys worked hard on a hot day after a long week of training down in Portland, Oregon,” he said. “We’re suffering from a bunch of injuries but the boys that were here were able to get results,” he said.
“We had a training camp with the Portland Timbers training staff and they were in a tournament in Beaverton, Oregon where they lost in penalty kicks in the gold medal game,” Wollmann added. “The boys are doing well.”
The Blizzard Riot take one large trip together annually. They raise the money for these soccer adventures through fundraising and parents contributing. In the past, the boys have gone to California, Minnesota, Washington State and this year, to Oregon.
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The trip must have made an impact. Blizzard Riot won the game 3 to 1.
Chinook United 97 also had some recent training opportunities with professional level mentors.
Tim Taylor, coach of Chinook United spoke of the game and recent training.
“It was the last game of the year and we’ve a few injuries so we’re playing different guys with different skill levels,” he said. “By the end of the game, we didn’t finish with the same team we started with. Blizzard has a very skillful central striker. I think our defender, Logan, did a really good job defending him.”
The boys on Chinook United enjoyed a week long training camp with Uka Masalam, assistant coach of Syracuse University in New York.
“We’re trying to get the guys and develop them, get them exposed to outside influences,” said Taylor. “We’re building a young team, thats what we’re here for , takes time and experience.”
Coach Taylor also shared his thoughts on the bigger picture for his U16′s at this level of soccer and what should be expected.
“It’s about what they’re doing outside of the games and practice. To play at Tier 1 elite level, it’s about being more focused and committed to the game. Are they training on their own? If they expect to go further, they’ve got to work harder when no one else is watching and have a desire to compete,” he said. “Some of our guys have that and some don’t.”
For more information about Calgary Minor Soccer visit the CMSA website.
Calgary Minor Soccer goals scored:
Chinook United 97