Chad Jones had given it some thought back in the fall, but decided against trying out for the proposed team that would hopefully bring Challenge Cup soccer back to the west coast.
Even throughout the winter, when the player situation became dire, he didn’t feel he had kept active enough to be able to come in and help a team that would begin playing at the provincial level later this month.
But the telephonic tenacity of head coach Vince Pickett of the now-dubbed Steers Insurance Corner Brook United convinced him otherwise.
Jones said Pickett told him he would love for Jones to show up and give it a shot and he couldn’t say no.
“When he called, it was just more of an incentive to go,” said the 20-year-old midfielder who spent the last few seasons playing for the Curling Rangers of the local senior men’s league.
To his surprise, he made the team.
He’s no stranger to provincial play, competing at the under-16 and under-18 level previously, but he admits he still got some work to do to catch up to teammates who have been working towards the Challenge Cup all winter. Thursday night’s practice, the first outdoors run of the spring surrounded by patches of snow and ice at Wellington Street Sports Complex, was just his fourth with the squad.
After all, with such a young group, Jones figures the overall compete level will be the Corner Brook club’s calling card.
“I think fitness is going to be a big thing with us,” he said.
Corner Brook United opens its Challenge Cup season May 23-24 against the Conception Bay South Strikers at the Wellington Street pitch.
The roster for the Steers Insurance Corner Brook United Challenge Cup soccer team: