Sports & Recreation(Archives)
There’s No Place Like Home: Huskies to Host CCAA Men’s Soccer Championship
In 2015, your Keyano Huskies Men’s Soccer team played host to the province and took home top honours at the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Men’s Soccer Championship. Now, one-year later, they will welcome the entire country as the host team of the 2016 Canadian College Athletic Association (CCAA) Men’s Soccer Championship, November 9-12, 2016 at SMS Equipment Stadium in Shell Place, MacDonald Island Park.
After leading the Keyano Huskies to provincial gold last year in Fort McMurray, Men’s Soccer Head Coach Connor Brady is excited about another opportunity to host a major championship.
Brady describes this as a unique season and important to his coaching career. With friends and family watching, he wants to put the community at the forefront.
“I’m a local guy, this is my hometown, and the community has been through a lot so I feel like I’m more invested in it then I was ever going to be,” says Brady. “This is a big deal for our region and I think our community really needs this event and it needs us to do well. There will be a lot of pressure this year to do great things because I believe the community deserves that.”
It’s also a great opportunity to showcase the region to people beyond our borders. Teams will be coming from all over the country with players from across the world. “Nationals gives a great impression of the sense of community here in Fort McMurray to all the teams visiting about what the region has to offer,” adds Brady.
If there is anything Coach Brady learned from hosting provincials in 2015, it is that there is no place like home, especially when it comes to playing in a championship. Travel to the past two Nationals was tough on the team. In fact, the first year the team attended it ended up taking 23 hours to arrive in Toronto.
“Hosting does make a difference,” explains Brady. “It can be a large advantage and if you want to take advantage of it or not is up to you. Sleeping in your own bed at night, having your own change room, your own home field, your own home cooked meals, no flights or time differences and for the Huskies it is going to be big to be used to the climate here in Fort McMurray.”
Climate could definitely be a factor when it comes to outdoor games in November. But Brady isn’t concerned about that or the logistics of the event. “I just want to coach the team and make sure that we are prepared and ready,” he says. “Keyano does a great job of running events so that work is in good hands.”
And as for the action on the pitch, the Coach is confident those in attendance will be entertained.
“If anyone hasn’t been to a CCAA Championship before they will definitely be surprised with the caliber of soccer,” says Brady. “They will be impressed with the level of athletes that we are able to bring to Fort McMurray and Keyano College. It will be great to watch and there will be some seriously competitive games.”
For spectators, full days of soccer play will make it possible to fit games into most schedules and the Coach also has special interest in seeing local youth in the crowd.
“We really want to see the younger soccer players from the community in the stands too. We want to give them something to look up to and to strive for. Dress warm, come out and cheers us on. We are playing for the community and you are our motivation.”
To catch the Keyano Huskies at the 2016 CCAA Men’s Soccer Championship, visit Keyano.ca/gohuskies for schedule and event details. Player’s Perspective
Monty Haines might be a new player to the Keyano Huskies Men’s Soccer Team, but he is no stranger to Nationals, attending a handful of events over the years.
“The atmosphere here in Fort McMurray is amazing. Fans will love it and the new stadium is top notch,” says Haines about the 2016 CCAA Men’s Soccer Championship. “You don’t always get an amazing location like this. I’ve been to four Nations and this is by far the nicest venue.”
He also has a message for the community: “Even if people coming out aren’t soccer fans we want all sports fans in the community to fill the stands, be loud and have fun.”