HAMILTON, Ontario (March 15, 2019) — With two full weeks of training camp nearly under their belt, Forge FC are starting to ramp up preparations for the inaugural Canadian Premier League season.
Forge FC Technical Director and Head Coach Bobby Smyrniotis is pleased with the process so far. However, he recognizes that there’s a long way to go.
Forge FC Training Camp: Ramping up Canadian PL preparations
— Forge FC (@ForgeFCHamilton) March 13, 2019
A Unique Challenge
Twelve months ago, Forge FC had not even been announced as the CPL’s sixth team. Six months ago it had no technical staff and no players. The club’s first ever signings — veteran midfielder Kyle Bekker and forward Chris Nanco — were announced just over 100 days ago.
In under 50 days, the club takes the pitch in its first-ever fixture. The timeline is short and the challenge of building a competitive roster without the benefit of an expansion draft (or an established league with a pool of players to select from) is unique. Although all CPL teams are in the same position, Forge appears to have a leg up on the competition. A lot of this is down to Smyrniotis and his connections within League1 Ontario and particularly Sigma FC, the academy and team he ran prior to joining Forge.
Of the 26 players at training camp, 12 spent time with Smyrniotis at Sigma. This familiarity will hopefully translate into early on-field success for the club.
Big MLS Signings
Two big names have made their way into Forge camp since it began. David Choinière, formerly of Montreal Impact in MLS, adds real class to the attacking midfield options that Smyrniotis has. Later in the week, the club also announced the acquisition of Emery Welshman on loan from MLS expansion side FC Cincinnati. With Choinière and Welshman in the fold, Forge look set to be competitive from day 1.
— Forge FC (@ForgeFCHamilton) March 8, 2019
Things Take Shape
Forge FC has six weeks until their first game. Smyrniotis will work to impart his philosophy onto the players and shape them into a competitive team for what should be a packed house at Tim Hortons Field on April 27.