League News

DUNNETT HELPING HIGHLANDERS SOAR TO SUCCESS

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Soccer Goalkeeper from Quispamsis enjoyed success on and off the pitch in New York
SCOTT BRIGGS TELEGRAPH-JOURNAL June 27th 

   QUISPAMSIS Jacob Dunnett doesn’t want credit for Houghton College’s successful season on the soccer pitch.

   “We had a really strong back line and defensive unit that made my job easy,” the goalkeeper from Quispamsis said when asked about the Highlanders’memorable 2013-14 campaign.“We had a good team and some good leaders. We were able to have good chemistry right from the beginning. That really helped us. It didn’t feel like we had older guys on the team and younger guys on the team.”

   Despite all of his humility, Dunnett has already received his share of praise. The 19-year-old was his school’s male athlete of the month for September after helping the Highlanders to a 7-0-1 start.

   During that span, Dunnett allowed just three goals while recording five shutouts. He was also named national student-athlete of the week twice by the National Christian College Athletic Association.

   On top of that, Dunnett earned the NCCAA’s defensive player of the week honours. His efforts helped Houghton finish the season with a 15-4-1 record and a berth in the NCCAA national tournament in Kissimmee, Fla.

   “It was good,” Dunnett said of his freshman season in western New York. “Houghton was really great with helping us adapt to a new environment. Everyone is friendly, so that helped. It’s a good spot to be. I got to play, and it’s a good school, too.”

   Supporting that claim is the fact that the Houghton men’s side was recognized by the NCCAA with a scholar team award for its combined grade-point average of 3.51. That mark was the highest among the Highlanders’ varsity teams, which compete in the Empire 8 Conference (NCAA Division III).

   In addition, five members of Hough-ton College’s men’s and women’s soccer teams were NCCAA All-America selections. Dunnett, a business major, was an honourable mention.

   Dunnett said last summer’s Canada Games in Sherbrooke, Que., laid the foundation for his strong rookie season at Houghton. The Fundy Soccer Association product backstopped Team New Brunswick to an emotional win over Ontario, a contest that had to be decided on penalty kicks.

   And even though New Brunswick came up short in its pursuit of a medal, the Games yielded many meaningful memories. The top-notch competition also provided Dunnett with invaluable preparation for the college ranks.

   “I definitely felt game-ready,”he said. “It was really good to be able to contribute right away. It (college level) was another step for me in terms of speed of play. That’s probably where I improved the most. We had a team that could keep the ball and move it around, and we played at a fast pace.”

   Dunnett is giving back to the sport by working with young FSA goalkeepers.

   “I’ve had lots of experiences coaching with Fundy, and it’s definitely something I’d like to (continue),”he said.“I’d love to coach soccer long-term. I definitely like being around soccer. I can’t see myself not being around the sport.”

   FSA has produced its share of players who have advanced to the college level. Dunnett credits FSA technical director Jason Brown and the association’s dedicated coaches.

   “Fundy is doing a great job,”Dunnett said. “They’re definitely putting a lot of effort into developing kids, and it’s showing. I’m definitely lucky to have grown up playing for Fundy.

   “They definitely encouraged me, and I know they encouraged other players and helped them develop. They never forced it on us, but they made us realize we could move up to higher levels.”

   Brown said Dunnett is a good role model for FSA players, setting an example both on and off the field.

   “He’s matured so much over the years,” Brown said. “He’s at a point where it’s really beneficial for the young kids to be around him. He’s such a nice guy and a good communicator. It’s nice to have an athlete who’s been successful and who’s also a nice person.”

   Brown said Dunnett earned a spot on a college team by putting forth an extra effort. The FSA technical director recalls a coaching symposium involving a member of the Vancouver Whitecaps’ staff.

   The Whitecaps’ representative said young players aspiring to compete at a higher level need to market themselves. And in the age of instant information, sending video footage is a good option.

   Dunnett decided to do that, leading to opportunities that otherwise wouldn’t have unfolded.

   “He took it seriously because he wanted to play at the college level,” Brown said. “He actually had to work for it and he got his reward.”

   Dunnett’s summer job also has him in a coaching role. He’s working for the local kayak club, guiding kids in different age divisions. And when he isn’t playing soccer for his senior squad, you can find him watching the World Cup.

   “I like the amount of games and the variety of different styles of goalkeeping,” Dunnett said. “There’s been too many upsets to make any predictions. I’d like to see Brazil win at home.”

   After the beautiful game’s mega-size tournament is over, Dunnett will digest what he’s observed and use it for his sophomore season. He’s scheduled to return to Houghton in mid-August, at which point the work begins on the pitch.

   “I definitely want to improve on the season we just had,” Dunnett said. “That’s definitely on my mind as a goal. It was a good experience.

   “We’re losing some key players, but we still have some good players around and some good freshmen coming

FUNDY SOCCER CARVES PATHWAY TO SUCCESS

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FUNDY SOCCER CARVES PATHWAY TO SUCCESS
Athletes Association’s elite players are hanging their boots in both Canada and the United States
RON BARRY TELEGRAPH-JOURNAL July 2nd 2014

   SAINT JOHN Do you know Marissa Duguay?

   No? Well, Marissa plays soccer for the University of Memphis Lady Tigers of Tennessee.

   Do you know Jacob Dunnett?

   No? Well, Jacob tends goal for Hough-ton College Highlanders, located in the state of New York.

   How about Rachel Forestell?

   No? Well, Rachel will be a freshman at the University of Alabama this fall, playing soccer for the Crimson Tide.

   The trio of elite athletes from the Kennebecasis Valley may not be destined for future world cups, but they are part of the highly successful Fundy Soccer Association, the largest of its kind in New Brunswick boasting around 2,000 players under the Fundy United banner. Listen to technical director Jason Brown and it’s clear the success the program is achieving is no accident.

   “We take a lot of pride and care ensuring the pathway we provide our kids is well developed,” said Brown, who has been involved in the game for 30 years. “It balances both academics and athletics. Even down to the age of nine and 10, we are talking to boys and girls about what is out there for them and what it takes to achieve these goals. That’s our end goal for kids at the top end – to pursue a higher education and play soccer at the same time, hopefully, with a little bit of contribution on the financial side.”

   Duguay, Dunnett and Forestell aren’t the only soccer players with American addresses during the school year. Three others – Olivia Gauthier of Saint John and Quispamsis residents Spencer Buck and Alex Allison – are Grade 11 students at Shattuck-St. Mary’s School in Faribault, Minn.

   Then, of course, there are Fundy United members playing for Canadian universities. To wit:

   John McPhartland (Dalhousie Tigers), Maria Scichilone (UPEI Panthers), Lacey Purdy (UNB Varsity Reds), Bradley Payne (Mount Allison Mounties), Tyler Connolly (Acadia Axemen) and Maxine Cormier (Université de Moncton Aigles Bleus) are playing major Canadian collegiate soccer in the Atlantic University Sport conference; and

   There are a large number of Fundy athletes in the Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA), led by four UNBSJ Seawolves – Mackenzie Tamblyn, a first-team all-star and most valuable player in the ACAA and an All-Canadian, Karly Baxter, a first-team ACAA all-star and second-team all-stars Louis Richard and Hannah McLeod.

   There are also a truckload of players on various provincial youth teams

   – an area of development that Brown is gushing about. As technical director, coaching and player development falls on Brown, who also holds the reins for the men’s and women’s teams at UNBSJ. The Quispamsis resident’s passion for the sport is well-earned, thanks in large part to those who taught him the world game as a youth.

   “I had some wonderful coaches and teammates when I was playing,” said Brown, a three-time All-Canadian during his playing days at UNBSJ. “I was lucky enough to have a few coaches who had a profound affect on me – Tony Hawker was my club coach and Derek Ward was my provincial team coach. They were soccer-knowledgeable men from England and were great roles models, not only in soccer but as people. They were really good about challenging me as an athlete, but also recognizing the human qualities and developing that side of me.”

   When Brown talks about the athletes playing collegiate soccer stateside, the word“unique”enters the conversation.

   “They are very different from each other,” said Brown. “Marissa is one of those natural athletes who live and breathe in a competitive environment. She loves to play at the highest level. When I first met her, she was eight years old and I don’t think I ever saw her without a ball glued to her feet. I knew right then that soccer was going to take her somewhere.

   “Jacob is a goalkeeper who didn’t switch on to the highly competitive side until he was 13 or 14, but once he did, he was all in. He has a natural affinity for the sport, and he’s a good role model, in house, for other players to look up to. Rachel is a bit of a late bloomer. She is quiet … she was one of those kids you had to be patient with and give her the room to blossom on her own. Once she stepped out of her shell, it was one of the most amazing things I’ve seen as a coach – maybe I wouldn’t have expected the level that she accomplished, but you always knew it was there. You just had to find a way to tap into it.”

   If Brown has one lament, it’s the lack of facilities for soccer in the Saint John region. As popular as the sport is, he is fervent in his belief that the Saint John region is scratching the surface in developing elite players.

   “I look at the next generation … there is a great crop of really young,highly passionate players coming up through the ranks and I think,‘What could they do if we had the proper facilities for them?’” said Brown. “We’re producing athletes that are going on to pretty wonderful things, in spite of not having an indoor facility,or facilities like they have in Fredericton and Moncton – even Bathurst has an indoor soccer facility.

   “I ask myself, ‘How many more kids could we have attending universities on athletic and academic scholarships if their sporting pathway was really supported?’ It’s a challenge because there is only so much facility space around. We’ve been blessed with a number of new outdoor turf facilities in the past few years, which is wonderful, but we still need more space

   – there’s not enough. I wonder what we could achieve if we had an indoor soc cer facility. Sometimes, you have to be patient Everything takes time – it’s a big investment and a lot of work. We real ize that.”

Moncton First Touch learns from first losses

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NEIL HODGE Times & TranscripT

   It was all smooth sailing for the Moncton Tom Cormier Co-operators First Touch until last weekend.

   Moncton suffered its first two losses of the McCain New Brunswick Premier Soccer League season.

   Its undefeated record was spoiled with 5-0 and 2-0 losses in a pair of road games against Prince Edward Island FC.

   “Tactically P.E.I. was the soundest team that we’ve played against,” said Moncton head coach Patrick Gautreau.“They were really cut-throat. We gave them half a chance to put the ball in the back of the net and they did. Whenever we gave them something they took advantage of it.

   “P.E.I. has a very good coaching staff and they were prepared to play. Part of the blame is on our coaching staff when it comes to preparing our team. We’re not just putting the best 11 players out there. We need to put the best 11 who can do the job against certain weapons that they would have.

   “We had a little lack of preparation in the first game which was a 5-0 loss. I’ll take the blame for that one. We lost the second game 2-0, but we performed much better and it was more evenly played. I’m fairly confident that we’ll be able to beat P.E.I. the next time.”

   P.E.I. FC (11-1-0 for 33 points) sits atop the league and Moncton (5-2-1 for 16 points) is in second place. The standings are rounded out by the Fredericton Wanderers (2-5-1 for seven points), Fredericton Reds (2-6-0 for six points) and Fundy United (1-7-0 for three points).

   Only the four New Brunswick teams will participate in the playoffs. Moncton is looking for its first championship in the league’s five-year history.

   Moncton will face Fundy United tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. at the Crandall University field. Moncton, which is midway through the 16-game regular season, was 5-0-1 versus New Brunswick opponents before running into its first adversity this season in Charlottetown.

   “Sometimes we got away with mistakes against weaker teams,”said Gautreau. “P.E.I. just didn’t forgive. We made a few mistakes and they capitalized on them. Now we’ve got to tighten the screws a little bit and make sure we don’t make those same mistakes again.

   “We’re halfway through the season We’re going to have a team meeting and sum up the season so far. We’ve got a very mature group. We’ve got a mentally strong group. I think we’re going to have a good honest discussion and then move forward in a positive way.”

Wanderers defeat Picaroons Reds in Elm City Derby

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BRONTË JAMES Fredericton Daily Gleaner
June 22, 2014

The FDSA Fredericton Inn Wanderers (2-5-1) defeated the Fredericton Picaroons Reds (2-6-0) 2-0 in McCain Premier Soccer League action at Scotiabank Park South Saturday night in their first matchup of the season at the Elm City Derby.

“I think after losing all the games we have in the last few games, we really needed to come out and play hard and get a win,” said David Jamael, who scored both goals in the game. “And we did that, so we’re all pretty happy right now. No complaints.”

The first half wouldn’t see any goals, but it wasn’t without a strong push from both teams. Less than five minutes in Picaroon’s Alex Haiart would go up for a header against Colin McIsaac and they would collide, sending McIsaac off and give the Wanderers a free kick.

Roughly 12 minutes later the Wanderers had another chance when Reds goalkeeper Adam Grant came out of the net to block Jamael. The ball would ricochet off Jamael to teammate Marco Riedel, but he would kick it wide past the net.

The Reds’ first real chance came with three minutes left in the first half, but Wanderers goalkeeper Mackenzie Hill was able to get a touch on the ball and keep the game scoreless going into the second half.

“Compared to the rest of the season we were off to a slow start,” said Reds captain Eric Karosan. “We’ve picked things up, we’ve just gotta find a killer edge.”

No goals would be scored until 63 minutes into the game. Jamael would have an easy goal after taking the ball into the top of the six and dribbling it around Grant, who looked to have hurt his ankle and was too slow to get back in front of the ball.

It was now a 1-0 game.

“Roy (Mugume) played a good ball over the top of the D and I just took a touch around the keeper,” said Jamael. “And I saw Al (Fredericks) on the line and I just walked right around him and tapped it in.”

It would be back and forth between the teams – one trying to keep their lead and the other trying to close the gap. Two yellow cards would be given out during the game, one to Wanderer’s Fredericks and one to the Reds’ Haiart, but it didn’t keep either team from continuing the physical game.

With five minutes of extra time for injuries and stoppage of play, the Wanderers looked like they had a 1-0 game in the bag. But the Wanderers were awarded an indirect free kick after Grant had a ball passed back to him by his fullback and put a hand on the ball. The Reds lined the goal-line from post to post. But Max Legg would put his touch on the ball and Jamael would kick it to the left corner the net, giving the Wanderers a 2-0 lead and sealing the victory.

“Marco (Riedel) told me to put it left corner, so that’s where I put it,” said Jamael.

“They didn’t get too many good chances, it’s just those two breakdowns, they capitalized on it,” said Karosan. “Some teams have a good night and others just don’t, it just happened to be in their favour today.”

Both teams were missing key players. Wanderers head coach Joe Ross sat out a one-game suspension for talking back to the ref in their game against the PEI FC. Starting left back Craig Draper also sat out after receiving a red card in that game. Carl Speed, out with a Achilles tendon injury since the first game of the season, and Dylan Hughes, out with a dislocated shoulder, were also missing.

“But guys stepped up and we played a good game,” said Jamael.

The Reds were missing two key players as well, in Victor Karosan and Galen Smith,

The team is transitioning their roster as more and more players who play for the UNB Varsity Reds in the fall leave town for the summer months. The Picaroons Reds filled with players from the former FDSA U18 program, such as rookie Varsity Reds Pat Cormier and Louis Robichaud.

“So we have to go recruiting with some of the younger guys, but they’re stepping up, getting used to the pace,” said Eric Karosan. “It’s a big, big difference playing U18 and playing men’s, so I think they’re getting used to it and it will be good preparation for them come university in the fall.”

Karosan said watching the World Cup the last week was something the men used for motivation when they were down 1-0. “You figure a lot of teams have been scored on and come back within a minute or two, so we still had that confidence, we still had that swagger, but things just weren’t going our way.”

Karosan enjoys the rivalry between Fredericton’s two teams.

“Years ago, we’ve always been known as the big boys around town, so every time they come out and play against us, it’s always very, very hard and we respect them for that,” said Karosan. “It always keeps us on edge and it always makes a good game for the fans.”

The Wanderers are in Saint John Wednesday for their first meeting of the season against Fundy United.

Wanderers, P-Reds ready for Elm City Derby

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Wanderers, P-Reds ready for Elm City Derby
JEREMY TREVORS THE DAILY GLEANER June 21, 2014

   It’s the match Fredericton soccer fans have been waiting for.

   The Fredericton Picaroons Reds (2-5) and the FDSA Fredericton Inn Wanderers (1-5-1) will face each other for the first time this season on Saturday in the Elm City Derby. They haven’t met since the Wanderers won the McCain New Brunswick Premier Soccer League final 2-1 in penalty kicks last August.

   “It’s a huge game because of the season we’ve had so far,” said P-Reds defender George Lawton. “It’s not gone as planned and when it comes to a big rival game it could basically be an opportunity for us to turn our season around.”

   Lawton’s teammate and centre-midfielder Jake Wildman-Sisk agrees.

   “That match every year is a big game,” Wildman-Sisk said. “The guys always get up for it and there’s a friendly rivalry amongst the boys. I think this can be a turning point in our season and maybe give us the spark that we need.”

   Both Fredericton teams have struggled out of the gate this season, but they believe they’re playing better soccer than their records would indicate.

   “A lot of guys work and there are some younger guys coming through, so it’s not all the same faces that we’ve had the last couple years. There’s been a shakeup in the squad that’s been difficult to adjust to,”Lawton said.

   The Wanderers have lost four games by two goals or less and had a scoreless draw against Codiac on May 30. The P-Reds have lost two games by one goal this season, including a 2-1 setback at the hands of Fundy United on Wednesday night in Saint John, the first win in eight tries for the Saint John-based squad.

   Jon Crossland scored the lone goal for Fredericton. Andrew Henry and Aseed Alisaeed found the back of the net for Fundy United.

   “We played well. We had the ball in their end for the majority of the game, they had two good chances and capitalized on them. Our guys were looking good and we’re feeling a lot better now,”Wildman-Sisk said.

   The Wanderers have been working on fine-tuning their play at practice this week and are excited to hit the pitch tonight. Game time is 8 p.m. at Scotiabank Park South.

   “We’ve played really well in parts of games and put a full 90 minutes together,” Wanderers striker Colin McIsaac said. “It’s not like we’re losing and we don’t have any positives to come out of our games. We just need to tighten some things up, keep working hard and we’ll be all right.”

   The Wanderers have been without striker Carl Speed since the first game of the year after Speed went down with an injury.

   Wanderers midfielder Alex Fredericks said the loss of Speed has hurt the team.

   “We’re a lot younger this year,” Fredericks said. “We don’t have Darren Cann and Carl Speed has been injured. There’s a couple missing pieces, but we can’t really make excuses because Picaroons has had some injuries as well and it’s a long season.”

   This is the biggest game of the season said Fredericks, who added he hopes a lot of people will come out.

   Also on Saturday, the Fredericton Picaroons Reds (2-0-2) women’s team will host the Edmundston Honda Crazy Babes FC (1-4-1) at the BMO Centre. Game time is set for 2 p.m. And the Friendship Cup U12 boys’ and girls tournaments continue.

   The FDSA Fredericton Wanderers U21 team is in Saint John on Tuesday night for a 7 p.m. matchup against Fundy United.

P.E.I. F.C. ready for test from Codiac

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P.E.I. F.C. ready for test from Codiac
Jason MalloyPublished on June 20, 2014 in The Guardian

SoccerStop P.E.I. F.C. and Codiac First Touch play each other tonight after beating up on the rest of the McCain New Brunswick Premier Soccer League all season.

P.E.I. leads the league with a 9-1-0 record followed by Codiac (5-0-1). They are the only teams with winning records in the five-team circuit.

“It’s definitely going to be a true test,” said P.E.I. F.C.’s Jared Murphy. “I think it’s really down to us and Codiac to see who is going to win the league.”

Game time is 7:30 p.m. at UPEI while the teams meet again Saturday at 2 p.m. at UPEI.

P.E.I. F.C. has six games remaining in the schedule. They finish the season with two games in Moncton against Codiac in a month’s time. Earning points this week, Murphy said, will help P.E.I. F.C. towards its goal of winning this year’s championship.

“These games are huge especially because we’re playing them at home,” he said.

But the squad knows it will not be easy. Codiac, comprised of a number of Universite de Moncton players, is undefeated and won the Maritime champions league tournament at the beginning of the year.

“It will be competitive,” Murphy said. “It’s going to be excellent soccer to watch. It’s going to be excellent games to play in.”

P.E.I. F.C. has a full roster for this weekend’s games and keeper Dave Feener is expected to start tonight.

Murphy leads the league with 11 goals followed by Adam Lowther at seven and Codiac’s Connor McCumber with six.

P.E.I. F.C. has averaged 4.3 goals per game this season.

“We’ve had a lot of players score a lot of goals,” Murphy said. “When that happens . . . every position is effecting the play.”

Schedule

The following are SoccerStop P.E.I. F.C. remaining games.

Tonight

Codiac at P.E.I. F.C., 7:30 p.m.

Saturday

Codiac at P.E.I. F.C., 2 p.m.

Saturday, July 12

Fredericton Reds at P.E.I. F.C., 2 p.m.

Sunday, July 13

Fredericton Reds at P.E.I. F.C., 1 p.m.

Friday, July 18

P.E.I. F.C. at Codiac, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 26

P.E.I. F.C. at Codiac, 1 p.m.

First Touch prepared for first-place showdown

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First Touch prepared for first-place showdown
Moncton tackles Premier Soccer League’s top team on Island
NEIL HODGE Times & TranscripT June 20 2014

   It’s a much-anticipated battle between two powers.

   Moncton Tom Cormier Co-Operators First Touch and Prince Edward Island FC will meet tonight at 7:30 p.m. and tomorrow at 2 p.m. in McCain New Brunswick Premier Soccer League action.

   Both games are at the University of Prince Edward Island field in Charlottetown.

   P.E.I. FC (9-1-0 for 27 points) sits atop the five-team league, and Moncton (5-0-1 for 16 points) is in second place. These clubs are in a class by themselves at this point in their 16-game regular season schedule, and tonight will be their first meeting.

   “We’re going right into the belly of the beast with these two games against P.E.I.”said Moncton head coach Patrick Gautreau.

   “I think it will be interesting to see their style of play. We have to battle in the first game (tonight) and then we’ll make adjustments for Saturday’s game.

   “They’re in first place, so we look at these two games as a measuring stick. It will show us where we are right now compared to them. We’re looking forward to the challenge.”

   Moncton, the league’s only undefeated club, is looking for its first championship in the league’s five-year history.

   “I’m very happy with our start to the season and not just because of our record,” said Gautreau. “The boys have a very positive attitude. Everybody is showing up for practices and games. Everybody is having fun.”

   Moncton has outscored opponents 18-9 in the opening six games. It’s now riding a four-game winning streak with the last three outings decided by a one-goal margin.

   “I think we’re pretty well balanced between offence and defence,” said Gautreau.“I don’t think we’re blowing anybody out of the water. I think offensively we’re generating what we need to do. I think we’ve improved on our finishing touch around the net with eight goals in the past two games.

   “I think we’re lacking a little bit defensively. We have to tighten up the screws a little in that part of the game.”

Wanderers Friendship Cup tourney kicks off Friday

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Wanderers Friendship Cup tourney kicks off Friday
BILL HUNT Fredericton Daily Gleaner
June 19, 2014

Matt DeCourcey of the local Fredericton Wanderers, second from left, presents the Friendship Cup to a youth team in Gambia in this May 2013 photo. Four local service clubs and sponsors are partnering with the Wanderers organization to stage the Friendship Cup tournament for boys’ and girls’ youth soccer teams here this weekend with the idea of donating $3,500 to the Wanderers’ sister organization in Gambia.

It should be clear: The Wanderers Friendship Cup, which eight Division 1 boys teams and six Division 1 girls teams are competing for this weekend, does not physically exist, at least on this side of the world.

Rather, it’s a spirit. A feeling.

The winning teams at this weekend’s event will receive T-shirts.

“We’ve had an initiative in the past two years in the Gambia supporting young Gambians, giving them an opportunity to play and providing some health education in the spring tournament overseas,” said DeCourcey.

The boys and girls tournaments the Wanderers are putting together here – the boys tournament to run at Scotiabank South, the girls at Scotiabank North – are geared toward raising funds and profile for the Wanderers initiative in Gambia as well as to provide a local summer tournament for Fredericton-area teams.

In the boys tournament, for instance, the FDSA has four competitive teams, the Wanderers and Athletics in Division A, and the Galleons and Reds in Division B. Fundy has two teams, an U12 and an U11 entry, with Hampton and the Halifax Storm completing the field.

In the girls tournament, the FDSA offers three teams, the Wanderers, Athletics and Galleons, with Fundy U11, Fundy U12 and Hampton also participating.

Four service clubs in the area, including the Epsilon and the Capital, Nasis and Marysville Y’s Men, have all thrown their support behind the project. There will be fund raising breakfasts at both Willie O’Ree Place and the Grant-Harvey Centre Saturday morning. The goal, said DeCourcey is to establish the tournament here and eventually grow it to 10 teams at each of the U12, U14 and U16 boys and girls levels.

“We think there’s capacity within the city to invite 10 boys and 10 girls teams at each level if we do it well. Just as important, it’s a fund-raising vehicle, with Investor’s Group sponsoring an on-site barbecue at Scotiabank South, proceeds from the community breakfasts, and donations at the gate from Saturday night’s McCain Premier Soccer League match between the rival Fredericton Inn Wanderers and Picaroons Reds, will be donated to the Gambia initiative.

“I plan to send $3,500 over to the Gambia next year and we’d like some seed funding to help start something locally as well,” he said.

DeCourcey spent five months in the Gambia in 2010-11 while working with the Nova Scotia-Gambia Association. He struck up a friendship with his colleague in Gambia, NSGA trainer Jerreh Manneh and the Brikama club, which Manneh coached.

The Wanderers Friendship Cup tournament has existed in Gambia for two years, being played out over three spring weekends in 2013 and two this spring.

It grew from eight boys teams in year one to 10 boys and eight girls teams in year two in Gambia.

“We want to continue to grow that opportunity over there, to have boys and girls teams at different age levels playing,” said DeCourcey. “We want to use that as a platform to provide health education workshops … you get the kids to the field and that provides the venue where you can talk to them about prevention of malaria and sexual reproductive health and these sorts of things,” he said. “It’s another project in what I hope will some day be a global program for us.”

It starts with tournament play Friday: game times are 5:30 and 7 p.m. at both Scotiabank North and South, with two games going at a time. Play continues all day Saturday, with time out to watch the Elm City Derby match between the senior rivals, with tournament play wrapping up Sunday. The boys final is at noon at Scotiabank South, while the girls round-robin tournament wraps up with the last game at 10:30 a.m.

Two teams setting pace in soccer league

Posted & categorized League News.

Neil Hodge Times & TranscripT June 18

The McCain New Brunswick Premier Soccer League looks like it may be a two-tier circuit this season.

Prince Edward Island FC (9-1-0 for 27 points) and the Moncton Tom Cormier Co-operators First Touch (5-0-1 for 16 points) are the only members of the five-team league that have a record over .500. Clubs play a 16-game regular season.

The standings are rounded out by the Fredericton Reds (2-4-0 for six points), defending champion Fredericton Wanderers (1-5-1 for four points) and Fundy United (0-7-0). Only the four New Brunswick teams will participate in the playoffs.

“I’m a little surprised that the Fredericton Reds don’t have a better record,” said Moncton head coach Patrick Gautreau. “The way the standings are right now could be a result of some of the matchups early in the season.

“The two Fredericton teams haven’t faced each other yet, and we haven’t played against P.E.I. yet. I’m hoping we’re going to stay in that top class of teams. The standings may not balance out, but I think the level of play will balance out across the league as the season progresses.”

Action continues when the Fredericton Reds meet Fundy United tonight in Saint John. Moncton, the league’s only undefeated club, will play its next two games against P.E.I. on Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. at the University of Prince Edward Island’s field.

Moncton is looking for its first championship in the league’s five-year history.

“Maybe other people didn’t expect us to have a start to the season like this, but I wouldn’t say that I’m surprised,” said Gautreau.“Based on the training camp that we had, it doesn’t catch me off guard that our team is performing like this. We have good depth on our team, and it’s showing.”

P.E.I.’s Jared Murphy leads the league with 11 goals, and teammate Adam Lowther is next with seven. Moncton’s Connor McCumber is third in the scoring race with six goals.

P.E.I.’s Brett MacDonald leads all goalkeepers with five wins and four shutouts. P.E.I.’s Dave Feener and Moncton’s Samuel Charron both have four wins.