The beautiful game will be downright explosive when Foothills FC hosts its home-opener this week.
"You can expect a team that is going to work hard for 90 minutes, possess the ball and play the way we want,” said Foothills FC assistant coach Martin Nash after the squad’s 5-1 victory over Edmonton Academy Saturday in a friendly at Calgary. "We are going to move the ball quick and look to dominate games… We definitely feel we can compete and we have been working hard to get ready for next week.”
Foothills FC will host the Victoria Highlanders May 11 at 7:30 p.m. at the Foothills Composite pitch in both teams’ opener of the Premier Development League (PDL) season. Foothills FC is moving to Okotoks after playing in Calgary for the past three years. It’s a team that will more than hold its own in the tough PDL.
"We have a lot of players that can play the brand of football we want to play — exciting, attacking football,” Nah said. "We have the ability to control the game.”
A player fans will likely take a quick liking to is striker Moses Danto, who had a brace against the younger Edmonton Academy.
"He works extremely hard on both sides of the ball and he was rewarded with two goals and I think two assists,” Nash said. "But it would be very tough for me to pick out individual players because we have a very solid team… We have a team that passes the ball, keeps possession. We want to attack but we want to control the tempo.”
Danto played for WSA Winnipeg last season. He jumped at the chance to play for Foothills.
"Amazing,” is how Danto described Foothills FC. "Hard-working guys and we have a goal — that is to win PDL and that’s what drives us every day when we wake up to work for each other.”
Danto proved to be driven to drill the ball in the back of the net.
"I’m a striker — if I am not scoring goals I am not doing my job,” he said with a smile.
He urges fans to come out and watch — especially those who consider football the game played by Stamps Charlie Power and Anthony Parker.
"Come on out — it’s going to be a lot of fun, a lot of excitement, you’re going to see goals,” he said. "The PDL is the PDL and I am expecting good competition from Victoria.”
Foothills FC centre-midfield Elijah Adekugbe can’t wait to play in Okotoks, just a short-drive from where he grew up in south Calgary. He missed last season due to an injury.
"It’s a new home and a new market that we can excite the people with the style we play,” said Adekugbe, a graduate of Dr. E.P. Scarlett High.
"I think we have a lot of dangerous attacking weapons, and we are solid at the back. We’ve got players who can keep possession of the ball – we have tons of options for goals.”
Besides from Danto’s two opening goals, Tofa Fakunle, Ali Musse and Willy Akio also scored.
Foothills FC has won both of its exhibitions games in Canada — its only losses in 2018 was during an exhibition stint in Britain. But Friday’s match is the real deal and Victoria will want to spoil the host’s opening party.
"They will be very organized defensively and they will be tough to breakdown,” Nash said of Victoria. "They will definitely be better (than last year), but we are definitely better.”
Foothills FC will also host Victoria at 2 p.m. on Sunday. For more information about Foothills FC go to foothillsfc.ca