Coach's Corner

Assessing Mount Pearl, Holy Cross and the Feildians

Southern Gazette June 24. 2008

By Gord Dunphy

gorddunphy@email.com




Assessing Mount Pearl, Holy Cross and the Feildians

Now that the Challenge Cup soccer season is well on its way, I have had a good look at both teams from St. John’s – Holy Cross and the Feildians – and the Mount Pearl team. Here is a brief analysis and my assessments of these clubs and what I expect from each of these teams for the remainder of 2008 regular season.

Mount Pearl/That Pro Look/Molson:

Head Coach: Coach Walt Mavin brings an enormous amount of experience to the Mount Pearl soccer team. He’s been coaching for the past 15 years, all with the Mount Pearl Soccer Association.

Strengths: Mount Pearl has two defenders in the league playing the center back position. There is no better combination in the league than the duo of John Kelly and Victor Dray and as of now, I consider Dray to be the top sweeper in the province.

Weakness: Mount Pearl lacks consistency. Coach’s Corner’s Comments: I feel, despite the fact the Feildians and Holy Cross are much improved teams this season, when the regular season concludes, Mount Pearl and St. Lawrence will be the two clubs that will have a double life on Labour Day Week-end.

Feildians/Ernst & Young Orenda:

Head Coach: Coach Paddy Kennedy is a relatively newcomer to coaching. This is Kennedy’s second year of coaching the Feildians. He's assisted by former Feildians’ player Ian Osmond.

Strengths: The new additions of Colin Power, Shannon Brushett and Kevin Oram will make them a legitimate contender. The defensive strength of Johnny Acreman, Ryan Sheppard and Colin Browne, combined with their goaltending duo of Prim and Organ, give the Feildians a solid backline.

Weakness: Regardless of the number of newcomers Feildians have they still lack a quality all-star striker and goal scoring will be their shortfall. Coach’s Corner’s Comments: Feildians are a much improved team capable this season of competing with the league’s best. Although, when all is said and done, Feildians will be playing in the opening game of the quarter-finals with the winner of their match advancing to the semi-final match.

Holy Cross/Kirby & Co.:

Head Coach: Coach Bernard ‘Fox’ Reddy is a living legend when it comes to Newfoundland soccer. ‘Fox’, as he is regularly called, was inducted into the NLSA Hall of Fame in 1994. He was a member of the great Holy Cross team, which won a Challenge Cup National gold medal in 1988 and a National silver medal in 1989.

Strengths: Holy Cross is fairly strong down the middle, starting with their goalie Tyler Putt.

Weakness: The new crop of Holy Cross players may have talent, but they just don’t have the same type of heart older generations of Holy Cross players displayed. Very few from the new era of players seem to have stepped in or stepped up to replace the leadership or the guts displayed by the Breens, Reddys or the Mullets of past eras.

Coach’s Corner’s Comments: Despite, Holy Cross Coaches ‘Fox’ Reddy’s and ‘Jake’ Stanford’s knowledge of the game, and their dedication and commitment to the Holy Cross organization, there is very little they can do to motivate this group. Sometimes, I just wonder to myself what some of the older, former players like Paul Reddy, who attends most games, or a gritty player like Johnny Hearn, would say or even think?