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Coach Pat Fewer expects Corner Brook United to bring strong work ethic to the pitch

Tiuri Lomond of Steers Insurance Corner Brook United, left, tries to keep the ball away from a Feildians defender during a provincial Challenge Cup men’s soccer league game at Wellington Street Sports Complex during the 2016 season.
Tiuri Lomond of Steers Insurance Corner Brook United, left, tries to keep the ball away from a Feildians defender during a provincial Challenge Cup men’s soccer league game at Wellington Street Sports Complex during the 2016 season.

No matter what unfolds on the soccer pitch this summer, Pat Fewer believes his players have a better understanding of the commitment level required for those who want to play at the Challenge Cup level.

Fewer is the player/coach for Steers Insurance Corner Brook United in the provincial Challenge Cup men’s soccer league, taking on the role of bench boss after head coach Vince Pickett gave up his duties after one season because he took on a teaching position in northern Manitoba.

Colin Lynch is also coaching the squad and Fewer will only suit up if the team needs him as he prepares to take on the challenge of going from player to coach after an impressive amateur soccer career that saw him win the Challenge Cup on two occasions — 2004 with Pickett his teammate with Marystown and 2003 with Mount Pearl.

The team has been training three times a week since January and Fewer likes the work ethic he sees in his players, most of them familiar faces with youth on their side and decent fitness levels for this time of the year.

Given the fact he has a number of guys busy in school or attending school in St. John’s so he knows there are times when players just can’t be with the group, but he believes they have really worked hard because they have heard him constantly remind them that he expects 100 per cent commitment from all hands.

Corner Brook United finished fifth overall in a six-team setup with a 2-16-4 record last season.

It was a big learning curve for a bunch of fresh faces, but Fewer believes his team can close the gap between themselves and powerhouses like Holy Cross and St. Lawrence if they can become a better team on the defensive side of the ball.

“We have to keep the ball out of the net and keep the games close,” he said. “I think the goals will come and I think we could frustrate teams being defensively sound.”

The team has a training plan in place and it’s all about following it in an effort to become a better team in all facets of the game and that’s a challenge Fewer wants to embrace as he makes the transition from player to coach.

He understands there are growing pains when you try to build a team so he’s just going to stay patient as the team grows together on and off the field.

“When you’re building a team it’s hard to get that team cohesion right away and the ability to win right away,” he said. “You have to build that maturity and only time will do that really.”

All six full-time Molson Challenge Cup teams will be on the pitch when the 2017 season opens May 13 at a number of venues.

Steers Insurance Corner Brook United opens the season at home with a two-game set against Feildians at the Wellington Street Sports Complex.

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