Coach's Corner

2009 Challenge Cup Note Book

Southern Gazettte Sept 1. 2009

By Gord Dunphy

2009 Challenge Cup Note Book

The 2009 Molson Challenge Cup Provincial all-stars and individual award winners will be announced prior to the championship game this Sunday. This season both the all-stars and individual award winners will be selected by a group of players from all five Molson Challenge Cup teams plus the team’s coaching staff. The NLSA has named the various individual awards after some prominent and well respected soccer personalities. The first place regular season trophy, which will go to Holy Cross in 2009, is the Bobby ‘Breen Memorial Trophy’. The Most Valuable Player during the regular season will receive the ‘Dick Power Memorial Award’. The league’s top goal scorer will receive the ‘Wils Molloy Award’; the top rookie will receive the ‘Ed Moyst Award’; the league’s best defender will receive the ‘Jeff Babstock Award’. The players showing the most spirit, combined with a high skill level, will receive the ‘Jim Goff Award’; the MVP in the Molson Challenge Cup Final the ‘Gerard Quirke Memorial Award’; coach of the year will be honoured with the ‘Alphonse Warren Memorial Award’ and the official of the year will receive the ‘Ross Artlett Memorial Award’.

The NLSA has again in 2009 agreed to be directly affiliated with ‘CBC Soccer Day in NL’. The date for this event has been set is Sept. 6. This is the day of the Provincial Molson Challenge Cup Final..CBC will be filming the awards ceremony for broadcast, which is to be emceed by Jonathan Crowe. In 2008, ‘CBC Soccer Day in NL’ was hosted by St. John’s at the King George ‘V’ soccer pitch. Next year, CBC has committed to travel to the Burin Peninsula for its ‘CBC Soccer Day in NL’. This event again will occur during the Molson Challenge Cup Championships.

The cost of entry to all Molson Challenge Games on Labour Day Weekend is $6 per game, except the Molson Challenge Cup Final. The cost to entry the final match is $8 per person, with $2 of the amount being donated to Kids Sport. Note: Kids under the age of 10 are admitted free.

If one is going to do an analysis of the 2009 Molson Challenge Cup season the odds on favours to win the Provincial Challenge Cup is definitely Holy Cross. Looking at the regular season statistics, Holy Cross dominated. Holy Cross had the most wins on the season with 13. It had the least number of losses in 2009 with two. Cross scored the most goals, 47 and had a goal difference of +48. When it comes to goal scoring, Holy Cross has the league’s top two scorers in leader Zack Wade with 12 and Corey Moore with 10. Rookie, Aaron Anstey has scored six goals, and John Hawco has scored five goals followed by Corey Mullet with four goals.

Mount Pearl this year had a good season, but the fact is it still is considered a long shot to win the province’s top soccer prize. One must realize Mount Pearl will have to defeat Western United, St. Lawrence and Holy Cross in order to crowned 2009 Provincial Challenge Cup Champions. However, it is not an impossible mission; it has been done once before when Marystown won the Provincial Challenge Cup in 2004. That team defeated Holy Cross, Mount Pearl and the St. Lawrence Laurentians in the championship contest.

When it comes to Western United FC, it will be satisfied with this season by the mere fact it made the playoffs. Corner Brook has been absent from the Provincial Challenge Cup scene for the past five seasons. You can put it however you like, but it is a great feat for the team to get to the big dance in just its first year back in competition.

As for St. Lawrence in 2009, despite its second place finish, the team had a sub-par season. The Laurentians lost three games this season and tied four. The team will have to lose two games on Labour Day Weekend to be dethroned. I’m sure no one needs to remind Holy Cross, Mount Pearl and Western United FC, St. Lawrence is the defending champions and know how to win the big game.

All Molson Challenge Cup Playoffs matches in Mount Pearl will be played at the Upper Smallwood Soccer Field. If you cannot attend this soccer extravaganza, be sure to listen in to VOCM’s - CHCM 740.

Dunphy Details: My hat must go off to both NL’s Male and Female Soccer Games Teams, which just recently participated in the Canada Games played in P.E.I. From all reports, you guys certainly represented our province well. The players on these teams made a big commitment and the coaching staff need to be commended for its efforts. Thanks, for the class you’ve shown and for the competitiveness you displayed. Both teams were an honour to the NLSA, and to the whole province of Newfoundland and Labrador.