Preseason game number three for the Ottawa Fury took place on Friday morning March 20, as the Fury took on FC Montreal of the USL at Olympic Stadium in a closed door match. Reports coming from the few press that attended the game confirm that the Fury dominated the match and won 1-0 after an early goal in the first minute of play. Striker Andrew Weideman picked up a cross from winger Oliver, and found the back of the net before FC Montreal had a chance to get a touch on the ball. The team looked confident and played well together but despite having multiple attempts on goal from Nicki Paterson, Tommy Heinemann, Paulo Jr. and defender Rafael Alves, were unable to convert any other chances. Still, coach Marc Dos Santos and the team are happy with their preseason progress towards the goal of being ready to face the Carolina Railhawks on April 4. Next up for Ottawa Fury FC is a trip to Syracuse to take on Syracuse University next Saturday March 28. They take on Wake Forest University the following Tuesday before the NASL Spring Season begins in April.
With the first home game less than a month away, the Ottawa Fury hosted their preseason Fan Fest on Saturday March 21. Fans were invited to TD Place to meet the players and coaching staff, and pick up their season tickets. The club used this time to formally introduce the squad and announce their new initiative: Fury Fanatics. This program connects youth soccer programs across the city with the senior team. Any club with players 14 years old and younger can register to be part of the program and will receive free tickets to all Fury home matches. This program sees the club becoming more involved in the community and further rooting them in the sports culture of the city.
This program is further to the Fury’s commitment to developing the game at a young age. Last December the club announced that it’s two academy teams will be involved in the PLSQ. The Fury’s Senior Academy team will play in the PLSQ and the Junior Academy team will play in the PLSQ Reserve league giving both teams the chance to have regular competitive league games. This is a major step in the development of the game for young players in the city as adding regular competitive games will give the players a chance to test their skills and create stronger, more complete players early on in the development process. Technical Director Philip Dos Santos, head coach of the Senior Academy team, has not been shy about the club’s desire to produce National Team players saying, “We are always committed to making sure that our player development program had the best structure possible…there is a big commitment from the club to have players growing from Ottawa”. Last November, the club brought in former Chelsea FC Academy coach Darko Buser to head up the Junior Academy team. Working alongside Dos Santos, it’s clear that Buser shares this vision “The end product is to develop players…so they can play for the first team and obviously for the National Team in the future.”