CORNER BROOK Robert Hicks is one of just a few players on the Western Under-14 boys soccer team that can begin a story by saying, "Back in my day ...".
That's because, as one of seven players remaining from last year's squad, he played a part in Western's 2-0 victory over Mount Pearl in the league semifinals.
Mount Pearl's record is unblemished this season, victors in all seven games they've played with a staggering goal differential of plus-24, compared to a plus-2 for Western (3-2-1) in six games.
But they can be beaten and Hicks knows it. Because he's been there and done that.
"All the guys on the team are talking about how good they are," he said. "But we just need to play our game and we can do it.
"We (the seven returning players) know what it's like," he added. "So we've just got to get out there and show the other guys."
Like many on the team, Hicks began playing the sport when he was four or five. The centre fullback is the son of Paul and Sherry of Corner Brook, who registered him in the minor program a decade ago.
As a veteran of last year's silver-medal effort, he was "sort of" confident he'd make the team again this year and he's also confident in what the team itself is made of.
"I think we can go pretty far again this year," he said. "We can be a good offensive team if everyone works hard."
Momentum won't be an issue, as they're coming off a strong showing against Feldians last weekend.
"We were pumped," he said of the two-game sweep of the St. John's-based club. "We were expecting a few points out of that, so it went pretty good."
He's a firm believer there's more points up for grabs this weekend, even though Mount Pearl has yet to cough any up.
"They're really strong on offence," he said. "So we've got to be all about defence.
"But I think we can come away with a couple of wins."
Western entertains Mount Pearl 6 p.m. this evening and 9 a.m. Sunday at the Wellington Street Sports Complex.