Edmonton’s newest soccer team will start playing in the 2011 season, and the team’s general manager is hopeful that the lineup will include a lot of local players.
The team, tentatively named FC Edmonton, has approached Foote Field and Clarke Park as possible venues for practice and home games.
“This year we’re going to play a series of exhibition games,” general manager Mel Kowalchuk said. “We will be inviting players to our training camp in April.”
The team will give local players a chance to be on the team before branching out and adding European players.
“Hopefully with enough games this year, the young kids can fill in and do the job.”
Kowalchuk feels that the timing is right for a new Edmonton soccer team to come into existence because of popular media, particularly soccer-oriented television stations.
“The North American Soccer League brought in probably more superstars than a lot of European teams had, but the North American sports fans did not know that,” Kowalchuk said, referring to the Edmonton Drillers in the ’70s and ’80s. “There’s probably more soccer channels out there than anything else, and it gives you a lot of exposure.”
Kowalchuk hopes the team will give local players a chance to stay here and work with their home teams rather than going abroad to play.
FC Edmonton plans to advertise in a “grassroots” way, meaning they will infiltrate the community soccer teams. The team will also utilize the Internet and other more traditional forms of advertising.