Kings Soccer 2019-20 season preview

Theo Gill (12) will be one of several key players on the 2019-20 Kings. Photo - Tony Hansen
Theo Gill (12) will be one of several key players on the 2019-20 Kings. Photo - Tony Hansen

2018 - 19 Review

The RDC Kings (7-3-2) placed third in the competitive Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Men's Soccer South Division and were edged 1-0 by the Concordia Thunder in the quarter-final. 

 

2018 - 19 Awards

ACAC Men's South All-Conference team - Gabriel Fleury de Queiroz (forward) and Theo Gill (midfielder).

Gabriel Fleury de Queiroz   Photo - Tony Hansen

 

RDC Athletics Awards Night

Coach's Award - Kyle Bett

Most Improved Player - Will Arcinegas Salazar

Most Valuable Player - Theo Gill

Rookie of the Year - Colin Purnell

 

2019 – 20 preview

Assistant Coaches - Steve Kelly, Mahziar Peyrow, Gerald Grobmeier, Elton Clemence      

 

As the Red Deer College Kings Soccer team prepares to kick off another ACAC season, Head Coach Wade Groenewegen has noticed an elevated sense of determination from the returning student-athletes.

"Last year, the veterans really took that step that I expected them to take," he says. "They don't want to just be good players in the league, but they want to be dominant players in their positions in the ACAC."

Wade Groenewegen   Photo - Tony Hansen

Returning Players

GoalkeeperJacob Hamilton, Austin Langdon

DefenceMatthew Elphick, Brandon Fedoruk, Kyle Bett, Thomas Favel

MidfieldersTheo Gill, Hugo Janssen, Pedro Humberto Mourao Neto, Gabriel Martins Fonseca

ForwardsGabriel Fleury de Queiroz

Groenewegen sees one of his all-star athletes playing a significant role again this season. "We are definitely a different team when we have Theo," says Groenewegen. "Everything is a lot smoother when we have him on the field."

The fourth-year embraces the opportunity to help lead this group. "I guess I have some experience and knowledge that I can pass along to the guys who haven't necessarily seen everything that college soccer brings," says Gill. "I just think as veterans, we will be able to pass that experience on."

 

Theo Gill   Photo - Tony Hansen

The Red Deer midfielder, who is one of 13 central Albertans on the squad, views the added talent as a valuable complement to the Kings. "I see a lot of heart from our group and also from the new guys coming in. The rooks coming in are quality soccer players," Gill says. "The cohesion has really grown and grown. It's a really good mix and a really fun group to be a part of."

 

New Players

Goalkeeper - Rhys Groenewegen

Defence – Kristofer Grobmeier, Hayden Jacobs, Turner Johnson

Midfielders – Selemani Nshimiyimana, Kaidri Bornyi, Dagan Slimmon , Nathan Swartz, Matthew Hamonic, Cale Jacobs

Forward - Damian Marah

"We have seven young guys who are 17 or 18 and have stepped into the team, and they are pushing the vets," says Groenewegen.

 

Not Returning

Colin Purnell, Matheus Alves, Osvaldo Aguilar, Andre Araujo Querioz, Tyler Peters, William Arcinegas Salazar, Antonio Suhalj, Timmo van Klaveren

 

The Kings got a taste of ACAC exhibition action at the RDC Invitational Soccer Tournament from August 23-25. The Red Deer College Kings finished with an even 1-1-1 record. After earning a 2-2 draw against The King's University Eagles, the RDC Kings dropped a 3-1 decision to the Grande Prairie Regional College Wolves and then shutout the Keyano College Huskies 1-0.

 

Photo - Kelly Groenewegen

"There are definitely things to work on and bring together a little bit better, but we made progress over the weekend as well," says Groenewegen. "We got to play a lot of guys that maybe we wouldn't have played as much as we did. Some athletes weren't available which put pressure on the roster, but that allowed other guys to step up."

 

Photo - Kelly Groenewegen

That playing experience will benefit the Kings when they open the new ACAC season on Saturday, September 7 at 4:00 p.m. in Medicine Hat. Last season, the Rattlers (4-7-1) finished fourth in the south division. Then on Sunday, September 8, the RDC Kings will play the Kodiaks in Lethbridge at 2:00 p.m. The Kodiaks (7-3-2) finished second and the Kings (7-3-2) placed third in the division.

Groenewegen expressed the importance of a successful road trip to open the 12 game season. "It is playoffs right from day one this year and we are right in the frying pan," he says. "We need really good results our first weekend if we want to be chasing down the top spots in the province."

The Kings will also be tested the following two games when the hard-working Broncos and 2018-19 ACAC bronze medalist SAIT Trojans pay a visit to RDC. "The next weekend we are home to Olds, who I expect to pick up pace this year," says Groenewegen. "SAIT is always capable of being a juggernaut, so those four games are tough. At the end of those four games, we could know if we are in the playoffs or out, or definitely in a good or bad situation."

While it's tempting to glance at the playoff possibilities, the Kings want to concentrate on what they can control in the present. "Most of our goals this year are about the way we want to play. We want to be ambitious and push for the top because Alberta gets the wildcard for nationals this year," says Groenewegen. "That's a results based goal, but really we want to focus on is what we do on the field."

On Friday, September 13, the Red Deer College Kings will play their home opener against the Olds College Broncos at 4:00 p.m. at RDC Main Field.