Alex Mercer takes part in Ponoka Storm's U18 soccer practice Monday

Alex Mercer takes part in Ponoka Storm's U18 soccer practice Monday

U18 boys’ soccer prepare for busy season

Ponoka Storm’s U18 boys are readying themselves for a busy and competitive season.

Ponoka Storm’s U18 boys are readying themselves for a busy and competitive season.

With the warm weather allowing the team to take to the soccer pitch Monday, April 4 for the first outdoor practice of the season, coach Gurjit Sandhu looked on with a watchful eye giving pointers when the team needed it and letting them continue on with their drills when they proved they knew the moves.

Many of the teammates have played together for several years and they have a strong rapport with each other. Indeed, the team placed second in the league last year losing a close 4-2 game against Lacombe in the U16 finals. This year they are ready for a strong season.

“They (Lacombe) are going to be our competition,” said Sandhu.

Two years ago the team finished the league in first place and landed a second spot in provincials.

“Right now we’re just working on getting our feet under us,” explained Sandhu.

In an effort to stay in the game, the team has been practising indoor soccer but the change to grass shows they need to get back into the flow of outdoor soccer. Some passes aren’t quite hitting the mark while players reintroduce themselves to the soccer pitch at Ponoka Secondary Campus.

The plan for this year?

“We’re going to do a lot of transitioning this year. Transition from offence to defense. Transition from defense to offence,” said Sandhu.

The coach said the players are in it to win it. Some players he has coached for the last four years and Sandhu said they also want to improve their game in anticipation of the soccer camp coming up this year.

“Winning is nice and everything but my main goal is to just make them better players,” he added.

“Come out and watch these guys. They’re a really fun team to watch.”

He said the season kick-off will be right after the Sunbreaker Tournament in Camrose at the end of April and first day of May. After that the season gets into full action with games on Mondays and Wednesdays.