Strikers given a one-year leave of absence

John
John Browne
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League commissioner says onus is on C.B.S. squad to prove they belong in circuit

Conception Bay South Strikers FC have been granted a one-year leave from Challenge Cup play by the Newfoundland and Labrador Soccer Association (NLSA), but even league commissioner Gord Dunphy admits it will be a “monumental task” for the team to make it back in 2015.

The Strikers finished last this past season with one win, 25 losses and one tie.

So why did the league give them a chance to return after a one-year absence?

“In all fairness, they had paid their registration fee for 2014 season by the deadline and I felt they’ve given a good effort the last four years,” said Dunphy, who added the club’s 2014 registration fee has been returned.

Dunphy said C.B.S. didn’t give him any assurance they’ll be any more competitive than in the past years.

“I didn’t want to get into a scenario that we’d have issues in the middle of this year in regards to C.B.S. completing the 2014 season. I felt that in respect for the people who have put a considerable amount of work in the team that we’ll allow the team to take a one-year leave and give them time to review their program.

“They are the ones who have to do the work to prove they can come back. From an NLSA perspective, I figured we should give them a chance to come back and show they have the players and a team that can compete. The onus is on them,” said Dunphy.

Dunphy was disappointed some of the Canada Games players from the C.B.S. soccer system have decided to play elsewhere this summer along with a few of the older, better players who have been picked up by the remaining league teams. Dunphy also pointed out players from C.B.S. who play with other clubs this summer have no obligation of returning to the Strikers in 2015.

The league commissioner doesn’t sound too optimistic the Strikers will be back anytime soon.

“To be quite honest,” said Dunphy, “when you’ve been in the league for four years and you have to opt out of the fifth year because you’ve got problems getting or keeping players, l believe it will be very hard to recover after stepping aside for one year.”

Dunphy said that, in the long run, the C.B.S. soccer association had to get to a point where there’s pride in putting on the C.B.S. uniform the same as it is with the other clubs in the league who have a longer tradition.

“They got to get to the point where their younger players will want to stay with the C.B.S. program and not look to go anywhere else.”

In the meantime, the remaining teams — St. Lawrence Labatt Laurentians, Holy Cross Kirby Group Crusaders, Feildians Ernst & Young and Mount Pearl That Pro Look Molson — will play each other six times for a total of 18 games.

There are no mid-week games this season. All the games will be played Saturday and Sunday with the first contests set for May 24.

Only three of the four clubs make the playoffs with the fourth-place team eliminated.

The first-place team receives a bye to the championship game while the semifinal features the second and third-place clubs.

The Aug. 29-31 playoffs will be held at King George V Park this season.     

 “This (season) is going to be the best we’ve had for a long time,” said Dunphy. “It’s like a season-long playoff. There’s less games, more quality teams and the games are going to be more meaningful.”                                                                                                                                                             

jbrowne@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Canada Games, Holy Cross Kirby Group Crusaders

Geographic location: King George V Park

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Comments

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Recent comments

  • Soccer parent
    April 13, 2014 - 17:27

    Sad for soccer, including fans. Less teams, less games in challenge cup. Less opportunity for players. Also, a reflection of the player movement in youth soccer that is slowly killing all star soccer.

  • brad slaney
    April 10, 2014 - 22:36

    Soccer is about Club teams and their fans , the rest will follow , All Stars teams are killing everything outside ST. JOHNS NLSA SOCCER ! Vince Picket, well we all know that sad story ! The man that did more harm to NL Soccer than any one in its history outside St. Johns ! Whats the last time Marystown had a C Cup team after He paid to win ?? CLUB TEAMS AND THEIR FAN WITH TRUR COLORS will win over all in the end

  • CBS Parent
    April 10, 2014 - 16:09

    St. John's and Mt. Pearl are not raiding the younger CBS clubs! The kids are making the decision to leave on their own. Skilled players have been leaving the Strikers organization for the last few years, and will continue to do so. There is a lot of dissatisfaction with the club all around! Just as an example, CBS was unable to field an u18 boys team last season and won't be able to again this summer. Why should kids stay when there is no future with the club, and they can receive better training, and enjoy more success elsewhere...

  • I wouldn't Stan-Ford it
    April 10, 2014 - 12:57

    Not a secret players leave teams there kevin, but can you blame them? Who wants to play for a losing team, and a coach who's there for him and not the players? I've attended many games the Strikers have played, not rocket science to see the players don't want to play there. Not easy joining a league that has established players. Fair, nothing in life is fair. If you were the owner of company and all of a sudden your employees left for a higher paying job with a similar company, would you post the same on here? Players want to win and to play for the best team available. This team isn't.

  • @ Kevin
    April 10, 2014 - 12:45

    I agree, but there's a reason why these players are leaving, it's not because Mt. Pearl or St. John's is glorious in their own right...

  • Kevin
    April 10, 2014 - 12:08

    Its high time the NLSA accepted responsibility and blame for this entire situation. They are the ones that allow the SJ and MP teams raid CBS's ( and other clubs) younger players! How can a tradition be built up? Is there any U18 or U16 teams this year from CBS? Doubt it as they have been raided by SJ and MP for the past couple of years and NLSA refuses to accept there is a problem. Why not call it the Metro Soccer Association because that's all it really is

    • Parent
      April 11, 2014 - 09:37

      As a parent of kids who play for CBS, I feel that you need to get your facts straight before you start commenting about the raiding of CBS players done by St. John's and MP. First of all this really started when Fieldians started up their Association and invited NLSA players to try out for their team. This was when CBS started to lose players. Kids from the age group of U14 and up are leaving CBS due to not getting the training that they need to further their accomplishments with soccer and for other reasons that I shall not get into. So when you say that CBS is being raided by other teams you are incorrect. I think it comes down to the Association itself and how they are running it.