Post-camp report: men’s national team returns from Florida

Canada’s men’s national team has closed their first training camp of the 2008 season. The camp, directed by head coach Dale Mitchell, featured mostly players who were out of season from their North American-based teams. The two-week camp opened 20 January and concluded 3 February. The camp was run in Fort Lauderdale, FL with trips in between to Martinique and St. Lucia.



“We could not have asked for any more from the group of players we had in Fort Lauderdale,” says head coach Dale Mitchell. “With it being the off season for the majority of them, they were not expected to be in peak condition. The first week was quite demanding and it was designed to raise their fitness levels as well as get them used to playing again at a high standard.”

Canada’s men’s national team has closed their first training camp of the 2008 season. The camp, directed by head coach Dale Mitchell, featured mostly players who were out of season from their North American-based teams. The two-week camp opened 20 January and concluded 3 February. The camp was run in Fort Lauderdale, FL with trips in between to Martinique and St. Lucia.



“We could not have asked for any more from the group of players we had in Fort Lauderdale,” says head coach Dale Mitchell. “With it being the off season for the majority of them, they were not expected to be in peak condition. The first week was quite demanding and it was designed to raise their fitness levels as well as get them used to playing again at a high standard.”



Included in the camp were a number of new players that Mitchell did not have in his previous three camps as head coach of the senior team. Mitchell has steadily been preparing for this year’s 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers which kick off in June 2008.



“The second phase of the camp concentrated on games,” says Mitchell. “We had a warm up match against a local team, the international in Martinique and the game against the Danish professional team (Vejle Boldklub). The team improved with each match I felt, with many of the players performing quite well.”



Against Martinique, four players earned their first senior cap with the Canadian team, two of whom were amongst the starting XI. Adrian Cann and Charles Gbeke started under coach Dale Mitchell while Dejan Jakovic and Dave Simpson entered as substitutions. Chris Williams and Antonio Ribeiro earned their second caps with the senior squad.



Says Mitchell, “I believe we have also identified two new players (Dejan Jakovic and Paris Nakajima-Farran) who will be capable of helping our U23 and U20 programs in the near future.” Jakovic is a 1985-born player from the University of Alabama Birmingham while Nakajima-Farran is a 1989-born player with the Danish club Næstved BK.



“Overall, it was a successful camp that allowed players and staff alike to re-familiarize themselves with performing in the type of conditions we will face in World Cup Qualifying.”



Canada’s next international match will be in Europe on 26 March against Estonia. Their first FIFA World Cup Qualifier is scheduled for 15 June in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines with the return leg scheduled one week later (21 or 22 June) in Canada (location yet to be announced).

Schedule & Results

Check out Canada Soccer’s Schedule & Results page where you can find upcoming match schedules and past results leading to highlights, photos, match data, and more.