Canada Soccer

U16s enjoy success in Newfoundland

Posted on 18 September 2007 in ↳ Men's EXCEL U-14 to U-17

Canada's men's U-16 national team wrapped up their highly-successful training camp in St. John's, NL. They finished with a perfect three wins in three matches against local competition. The U-16 team (players born on or after January 1, 1991)played matches against Memorial University (12 September), Mount Pearl (14 September) and St. Lawrence (16 September).

Canadian head coach Sean Fleming was very pleased with the effort, results and opportunity provided by the joint venture between the Canadian Soccer Association, St. John's Soccer Association and Newfoundland and Labrador Soccer Association (NLSA).

“This is a great opportunity after our previous camp to build on our team organization and to see how these players can handle the competition of three games in five days,” said Fleming. “It was an honour to play at King George V Park.”

The beautifully remodeled King George V Park was the venue for the matches and training sessions, providing the young Canadians with the added experience of competing in the same venue where the Canadian National Team qualified for their only World Cup some 22 years ago.

“It was an honour to play on King George V Park, where the Canadian national team qualified for their World Cup in the 1980s," said Team captain, Ethan Gage. "The facilities and (the) training were great and we were well taken care of.”

Despite giving away the edge in experience, the Canadians were able to open the camp by sneaking past Memorial University on striker Jerome Baker's shootout-winning goal after a 0:0 draw. Against St. Lawrence, the most anticipated contest of the camp, a second-minute marker from striker Sahil Sandhu after a scramble in front of the goal sent the Canadians to a 1:0 victory over St. Lawrence. The Canadians wrapped up the camp with a 2:0 victory over Mount Pearl on goals by Gage in the 24th minute and Baker in the 85th minute.

Thanks to local support, this is the second opportunity that the men's U-16 team has had to assemble over the past two months. Previously, the group was together for a week-long camp in Saskatoon, SK following the U16 Boys All-Stars competition in late July. Fleming sees these types of opportunities and support as essential for these young players, who hope to eventually represent Canada in qualifying for the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2011.

“These two camps have been great opportunities for the 1991 development team,” said Fleming. “Hopefully other developmental teams can have similar experiences. A great deal of credit must be given to the provincial associations and their districts for their generous support of the national youth teams.”

Doug Redman, President of the NLSA added, “the St. John's Soccer Association and the Newfoundland and Labrador Soccer Association were very pleased to have Canada's national U-16 boys team in Newfoundland and Labrador for a ten-day camp which included three exciting exhibition games. We feel it necessary for provinces to work with the Canadian Soccer Association to provide competition and camps for our national youth teams.”

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