Bits and Pieces
Laurentians vs. Holy Cross
On Saturday, June 8 the Laurentians played
their opening game of the Provincial Challenge Cup 2002 schedule against
their long time rivals, Holy Cross of St. Johnís This game may have created
some sort of trivia for the history books. Never, do I recall the Laurentians
playing at home and squandering a three-goal lead. The Laurentians blew
a 3 - 0, and a 4 - 1 lead and then barely managed to cling on to a 4 -
4 tie. Yes, this was only the first game of the season! Yes, they practically
played all 18 players that wore a Laurentians uniform. The fact of the
matter is, in ď The Soccer Capital of CanadaĒ this is totally unacceptable.
There is a need for our program to begin developing some of the younger
players but I guess caution and a keen sense of knowing when to implement
substitutes must be recognized.
Congratulations are in order to Albert
Anstey of Burin, who was recently inducted in to ď The Canadian Darts Hall
of FameĒ. In 1997, I was approached by Troy Pickett and Mel Stacey on behalf
of the Marystown Soccer Association , to coach the Marystown United in
the Provincial Challenge Cup League. My first instinct would be to recruit
a winner. Albert Anstey, of Burin became my first contact. I realized that
in order to develop a winning team, you need character players. It is quite
apparent that Albertís perseverance and ability to become focused has made
his contribution to the sport of soccer in Burin a remarkable feat. Obviously,
it is these same qualities that he has portrayed in the sport of darts.
Dave Kelly & Keith Senior
Presently both of these Garnish residents
are exploring the possibility of setting up a sport "Hall of Fame" for
their community. Over the years Garnish did have a relatively strong soccer
history and itís great to see itís going to be recognized. It is also my
understanding that the St. Lawrence Soccer Association is about to approach
and make application with the NLSA to have the provincial soccer "Hall
of Fame" to be constructed in St. Lawrence.
At present, the Newfoundland & Labrador
Challenge Cup soccer schedule is comprised of a grand total of 15 games.
With the two-goalie system presently adopted by all clubs participating
in this league, thereís no way can a coach do justice to his number one
keeper by rotating the two goalies game for game. The coach must identify
his number one keeper and play him. Former soccer goal keepers Al Slaney
or Rod Drake didnít achieve all - star status by sitting on the bench.
2001 NLSA "Coach of the Year" and 2001
Sport Newfoundland and Labrador "Coach of the Year" is ,in my opinion,
the top coach presently coaching in the provincial Challenge Cup Soccer
League. After having seen Marystown upset Holy Cross by a 1 - 0 margin
, and defeat Mount Pearl by a 2 - 1 score, I came to the realization that
with Coach Pickett behind the bench , anything with regards to winning
is possible.Maybe thatís what he proved to himself by stunning the entire
province when he coached the Newfoundland Menís Soccer Canada Games Team
of 2001 to a National Silver Medal. If hind - sight is correct maybe I
was instructed from the best. I have been informed that Johnny. Pickett
and Brian Francis may be joining their former coach at a later date. Should
both of these players suit up for Marystown , opponents beware.
Thereís a funny suspicion Iím getting
that some of the powers to be in St. Lawrence are trying to hold Richard
Kelly from attaining his potential. This young man, at the age of 20, is
the greatest gifted goal scorer on the island. In the Laurentians opening
game, with the Laurentians leading at half - time by a score of 3 - 1,
Richard was substituted. In the Laurentians second game of the season ,
during the Laurentians first forty - five minutes, Richard put on a goal
- scoring clinic by scoring 3 goals. What does he get for his efforts?
Yes, he is again substituted at half time. The Laurentians may get away
with this rubbish at a provincial level because of their opponentís level
of play, but if the Laurentians are serious about winning a national championship,
they will need his goal -scoring ability. In 1999 when I coached Richard
and the Laurentians won a National Bronze Medal , this kid at 18 years
of age , scored a record - breaking 7 goals at the nationals.
Bob Spearns Retirement
Is Bob Spearns retirement going to hold
for the remainder of the 2002 season? Absolutely not! My bet is he is just
second guessing himself- he just built a new home with landscaping still
not completed; his wife is now having their first child; the Laurentians
new coach, although lacking coaching experience, is very demanding. Presently
everything appears to have changed for Bob. When the dust settles and Bob
absorbs his initial shock and realizes, "Not a lot has actually changed
at all", Bob will then telephone his old buddies Paul, Harry & Scott
to inform returned Laurentians coach Junior Edwards , "Bob is making a
comeback." I feel that Bob Spearns will be in uniform for the St. Lawrence
Laurentians on St. Lawrence Day. If not, Iím convinced Bob will be dressed
in blue on Labour Day Weekend.
The Burin Peninsula Soccer Association
should implement a Burin Peninsula Championship series. How about a two
game total goal home and away series? I can see only positives surfacing
from the reinstatement of this series. Certainly both the United squad
and the Laurentians could benefit by playing an additional two games.
Jimmy Fleming Scenario
I understand that there has been some
ongoing discussions taking place between various Laurentians players and
Jimmy Flemming about him joining the Laurentians. Over the years , the
Laurentians have created a logo that says that we pride ourselves on the
three Dís - Desire, Determination & Dedication. From what I have experienced
and have witnessed in the last 10 years, Jimmy Flemming doesnít fit this
mold. I would be much surprised if Greg Quirke , Junior Edwards or the
St. Lawrence Soccer Association isnít aware of this.
I have practically watched every televised
World Cup 2002 game, whether it was live or on delayed viewing. From what
I have gathered, I wouldnít be one bit surprised if another global scandal
is unveiled in the sporting world. The referring against Italy, Spain and
the United States was bias and blatantly outrageous. So I guess you can
see why my prediction of Italy winning the World Cup failed . You can always
blame it on the officials.