Kings Soccer 2018 - 19 season preview

Returning student-athletes like Hugo Janssen (8) have taken another step forward in their development. Photo - Tony Hansen
Returning student-athletes like Hugo Janssen (8) have taken another step forward in their development. Photo - Tony Hansen

2017 - 18 Review

Regular Season

The RDC Kings (2-7-1) placed fifth in the competitive Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Men's Soccer South Division and missed the playoffs.

 

2017 - 18 Awards

RDC Athletics Awards Night

Coach's Award – Matthew Elphick

Most Improved Player – Hugo Janssen

Rookie of the Year – Kyle Bett

Most Valuable Player – Koltan Childs

 

2018 – 19 Preview

Kings Head Coach Wade Groenewegen van der Weiden appreciates the persistence and work ethic of this year's team. "The student-athletes have not quit in our training sessions and exhibition games," says Groenewegen. "Regardless of the result, the guys play hard right until the end."

Assistant Coach - Steve Kelly

 

Returning Players

Goalkeeper – Jacob Hamilton

Defence – Keeghan Tingley, Matthew Elphick

Midfielders – Theoren Gill, Hugo Janssen, William Arcinegas Salazar, Timmo van Klaveren, Kyle Bett

Forwards – Antonio Suhalj

"We've been saying we're the young team for a few years, and we still are in many aspects, but we have veteran players who we expect to show their experience when we play," says Groenewegen. "We have a core group that works and plays well with a certain style, and we added guys who fit into that system. When the Kings play their style of game, there's a lot of synergy and they mesh well."

Bachelor of Education student, Theoren Gill, likes the cohesiveness of the team this season. "We have a good core returning who knows how to play the way that we want to play," says Gill. "With the rookies we've added this year, we feel like we can really mesh and maintain our team identify moving forward."

 

New Players

Defence – Osvaldo Aguilar, Andre Araujo Queiroz, Tyler Peters, Brandon Fedoruk

Midfielders – Matheus Alves

Forwards – Colin Purnell, Gabriel Fleury de Queiroz

Groenewegen is encouraged by the increased offensive potential this season. "We definitely added to our forward ranks this year," says Groenewegen. "We brought in guys who are as good as anyone we had up front last year. The guys who we retained on forward all improved. We are definitely better moving forward."

Despite a young defence, Groenewegen sees promise. "On the flip side, we have only a few players returning on the back end so we are revamping and looking at what we got there," says Groenewegen. "But in exhibition, the players performed extremely well and in several cases they played beyond our early expectations."

Gill, a third year midfielder from Red Deer, feels the need for more offence was addressed with the new student-athletes along with the growth of the returning Kings. "The new players bring a lot of pace. They are strong on the ball and move it quickly, which is what we look to do," says Gill. "From last year, we learned about the importance of having composure in front of the net. We played well but had difficulty sticking it in the net. We have to score to win games and I see that as a focus this year which began in the off-season."

 

Not Returning

Talon Grenier, Nathan Bergeson, Tanner Steenbergen, Nonso Oenewukwe, Jeremy Gopal, Yenner Teah, Bryce Vleeming, Joao Victor Bizerra Cavalcante, Koltan Childs, Mohammed Abdi, Eduardo da Costa, Nelson McPherson-Krueger, Lee Wagar, Shaun Funk

Despite the departure of several student-athletes, the Kings feel optimistic heading into the 2018 – 19 ACAC Men's Soccer season with a solid core of returning student-athletes and a talented group of new players who fit in well, have speed and an offensive knack.

In five exhibition games, the RDC Kings earned a 2-1-2 record. The Red Deer College Kings defeated The King's University Eagles 1-0, tied the University of Alberta Augustana Vikings 0-0, drew even with the Keyano College Huskies 2-2 and were edged 4-3 by the Grande Prairie Regional College Wolves.  The Kings finished their slate of non-conference games with an impressive 1-0 shutout victory over The King's University Eagles.

The regular season will begin on Saturday, September 8 at 2:00 p.m. against the Ambrose University Lions at RDC.