By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express
As the new season approaches, a surprise playoff appearance is on the mind of FC Oshawa players and coaches as trials approach.
The trials will run from Dec. 20 to Dec. 23, and will be held at the FC Durham Academy Training Centre, 1255 Terwillegar Ave, alongside FC Durham.
Trials will run from 9 to 10:30 p.m. on Dec. 20, noon to 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 21 and 22, and 7:30 to 9 p.m. on Dec. 23.
Those interested must be registered to tryout.
After going 6-5-2 last season, good enough to finish fifth, and make a surprise playoff appearance, head coach Ron Clarke says the team is looking for more experienced players.
“The trend for the top teams in the league is that they had a really good mix of senior players, and younger players,” he explains. “Our average age was about 22, and our goal is to have an average around 24.”
He also hopes the team can improve upon their midfield play.
“Obviously everyone is always looking for another goal scorer,” he says. “But definitely for us, the three big positions we’re looking for this year is another centre defender, another defensive-minded central midfielder, and then an attacking forward.”
He says after the team made the playoffs last season, he is hoping for the team to repeat, and advance to at least the second round.
Clarke also notes there will be some returning players, singling out team MVP Sona Makulova.
“We’ll definitely have more of the core players from last year, like Megan Arsenault, and Sarah Forde, those key players should be back for 2020,” he says.
He said hopeful players can expect to go through the regular team warmup, as well as some dynamic playing at the beginning.
“After that, we just want to see them playing and get an idea of how they react in game situations,” he says.
For Clarke, the big thing is senior players over 24 years of age.
“If there are senior players… that still feel they’re fit to play, they should come and tryout because the goal of the league is not to be a young development league, but for players 17 and older who want to play at a very high level,” he says.
For more information or to register, visit oshawakicks.com/fcoshawatrials