Pat Fewer hopes he doesn’t have to clean snow off Wellington soccer pitch during the May 24 weekend.
He wants to see sunny skies and warm temperatures because the May 24 weekend means it’s time to get a kick to the men’s soccer season in this neck of the woods.
The annual Corner Brook Men’s Soccer Kick-off Cup will be held at Wellington Street Sports Complex over the long weekend.
Last year, the tournament proved to be a rough one with the guys kicking around the soccer ball on a blanket of snow with nippy temperatures making it even worse for everybody involved.
“Last year it wasn’t fit,” Fewer, president of the Corner Brook Men’s Soccer League said Wednesday afternoon.
“The cold weather I don’t mind and the damp I don’t mind, but when it affects how the ball rolls and whatnot that’s when you start to run into problems,” he added.
The tournament will feature seven teams this year in a two-division format, which is one less than the number of entries in last year’s event that saw Grand Bank claim bragging rights. The Masters team isn’t back this year and a team from St. John’s that has been a regular at the tournament for the past five years couldn’t commit this year. The Ford Mustangs — a new entry in the local men’s league — will be competing in the three-day event that wraps up with the championship game Sunday 2 p.m. at Wellington.
Having a tournament to get the kinks out before the regular season opens May 27 has been used as a means to promote soccer in the community and also give players more kicks at the ball with a longer season available because of the Wellington pitch.
Fewer hopes the weather will be fine so fans can get out and watch some of the action and also allow players to stick around the field instead of hurrying for a heated cover when they finish their game.
He also believes the calibre of soccer will be pretty good with the local teams already getting a few touches on the ball with a few practices over the past few weeks.
More importantly, there is bragging rights on the line.
Grand Bank is the defending champion and this tournament is a highlight for that team’s season because it’s the biggest tournament they play in all season. Fewer expects them to be a tough test for all teams who are ready for the challenge regardless of their status.
“They put all the chips on the table This is their big tournament for the year so they put a lot of effort into winning this,” he said.
Are the local squads up to sending them home empty-handed this year?
“Oh absolutely,” Fewer quipped.
The Kick-Off Cup gets underway today with two games scheduled for the Wellington Street Sports Complex. The tournament opener will see the Monarchs take on the Ford Mustangs at 7:30 p.m. and the Curling Rangers tangle with Flynn’s Pub Tactics in a game slotted for 9 p.m. at Wellington.