Champion HUSA Alumni ready to defend Challenge Trophy title
Posted on 26 September 2012 in Challenge Trophy
Reigning Challenge Trophy champions Huskie United Soccer Academy Alumni will once again represent Saskatchewan at the Canadian Soccer Association's National Championships. After winning three-straight provincial titles (2009, 2010, 2011) and one national title (2011), HUSA Alumni qualified uncontested for the 2012 Challenge Trophy competition. HUSA Alumni will now be given the chance to defend their national title from 3-8 October in Winnipeg, MB.
It was just last year that HUSA Alumni became the first Saskatchewan team to win the Challenge Trophy, the senior men's national competition that has been contested annually since 1913. HUSA Alumni won the 10 October 2011 final by a 2:0 score over ICST Pegasus of British Columbia.
"Last year, our goal was to reach a medal game and we did that," said HUSA Alumni champion coach Stewart Gillott. "That goal does not change this year: our expectation will be to make it through and play for a medal."
Returning from last year's championship team are goalkeeper Jeff Dobchuk, defenders Jeff Friesen, Brendan Garritty, Jarvis Huyghebaert, Stephen Patterson, and Michael Veszi, and midfielders/forwards Michael Collins, Dwayne Gareau, Steven Irinici, Mark Korthius, Ryan McAllister, David Patterson, Nathan Reis, Jordan Schidlowsky, and Jay Tomchuk. Rejoining the 2012 traveling team are Jerson Barandica-Hamilton, Kent Kowalski and Stephen Krieg; new to the team are National Championships debutants Josh Northey and Abumere Okonofua.
"We feel that we are a little stronger than last year," said Gillott. "It is such a gruelling tournament in that you have to play five games in six days. You have to have the ability to give players rest throughout the competition."
Both the Challenge Trophy (senior men's) and Jubilee Trophy (senior women's) competitions will take place in Winnipeg, MB from 3-8 October 2012. The men's competition features 12 teams while the women's competition features 10 teams. In all, the 2012 Canadian Soccer Association National Championships feature 88 teams in eight competitions (male and female) across four venues, with the U-18 Cup in Sydney, NS, the U-16 Cup in Charlottetown, PE and the U-14 Cup in Vaughan, ON.