In 2004, the St. Lawrence Laurentians are celebrating their 100th anniversary. Since 1967, when I first became involved with soccer, I have watched, played, and coached the game as a member of the Laurentians. I realize every single player that donned the Laurentian uniform over the past 100 years has contributed to this soccer dynasty and have made the Laurentian team what it is today. Here is my list of the top 20 Laurentian players that I have witnessed play the game.
#1 Wils Molloy
He is known as Newfoundlandís greatest soccer player. If Wils were to compile a showcase of his awards, he could have his own Hall of Fame.
#2 Al Slaney
Al is by far the best goalkeeper this province has ever produced. He could have easily played professional ball if the right circumstances had existed.
#3 Norm Kelly
Norm played the game of soccer with heart, talent, and size. He was certainly one of the Laurentian stars of the 60s.
#4 Junior Edwards
Junior played with a lot of skill and guts. His feet and elbows were considered weapons. He was known as a "penalty-shot specialist."
#5 Bob Spearns
Bob is my choice for best Laurentian fullback of all time. Itís no wonder that he was named the "Top Soccer Player of the 1990's" in Newfoundland.
#6 Joe Turpin
Joeís intense style of play was second to none. His desire to win was a lethal weapon and he pushed his teammates to the ultimate by leading the way.
#7 Tom Tarrant
He was big, strong, and determined. It was no coincidence that, although Tom only played five years as a Senior Laurentian, he was a National Finalist twice in his career.
#8 Keith Farrell
Keith is known as the Laurentians all-time greatest captain. He played the game with his head, and his exemplary performance, both on and off the field, helped make the Laurentians what they are today.
#9 Reg Farrell
Keithís older brother, Reg was a character player and a great goal scorer. He played a very smart game and his ability to score was superb.
#10 Frank Haskell
The sweat on his back and the speed with which he played the game can attest to why he was on of the Laurentianís best goal scorers.
#11 Junior Doyle
Junior would rank as the best "set-up" man that I have ever seen play the striker position. The beneficiaries of his talents were his partners Wils Molloy and Frank Haskell.
#12 Frank Tobin
Frank played the game, combining brains, strength, and talent. He is known as a great Laurentian center-back.
#13 Cyril Quirke
Back when the game was played with a 5-3-2 format, soccer was basically a "slog-and-run" game. Cyrilís style of play made the Laurentians dominate provincial soccer in the 1960s.
#14 Bob Slaney
Laurentians always built their teams starting with great goalies. I still remember Bob, dressed in full white, being a top goalie who played with a lot of intensity.
#15 Rudy Slaney
Rudy was the best right-winger I have ever seen play for the Laurentians when the game was played with three forwards. He had an exceptional cross-over and was a great goal scorer.
#16 Harry Kelly
The Laurentian logo emphasizes desire and determination. This, combined with heart and a hunger to win, was what motivated Harry throughout his soccer career. He played mid-field, forward, and fullback and was the most versatile Laurentian I have ever seen play.
#17 Dr. Paul Slaney
Paul is making a living from using the gift of his hands and he played soccer using the gift of his feet. Paul is the most skilled Laurentian that I have witnessed.
#18 Darin Dunphy
Some people may feel, in this case, that my selection of Darin shows that "blood is thicker than water" and maybe they are correct. I feel that Darinís skill level and toughness made him and Bob Spearns the top 1-2 fullback combination in the 1990's.
#19 Dion Kettle
Dion was another amazing Laurentian goal-scorer. His ability to anticipate and find the net resulted in the number of goals he scored.
#20 Keith Jackman
He was the mainstay of the Laurentian goalkeeping duties in the 1990's. Keithís reflexes and ability to read the game were what made him successful.
Gord Dunphy is a former all-star coach of the St. Lawrence Laurentians and a national bronze medallist. He can be reached at email@example.com