Skilled Huskies squad took their individual talent for granted, says head coach
In sports, the cliche that hard work and playing as a team beats talent and skill every time has been uttered so often, it’s easy to forget.
That is, until overlooking team play and hard work ends your season, as it did for the men’s soccer team at the provincial championships at the end of October.
Riding the high of a bronze medal at last year’s provincials and an indoor soccer gold in the spring, hopes were high for head coach John Williams’ talented Huskies, who finished 6-3-1 on the season and had a program record four players named to the Ontario College Athletic Association’s (OCAA) all-star team.
But high hopes and loads of talent didn’t get a win for the Huskies at the provincials.
“Sometimes maybe too much talent isn’t good,” Williams said. “They realized that we were so talented and maybe people thought they could have days off and there’s no days off.”
The trouble for the George Brown squad began in the opening match against the Niagara Knights. Though the Huskies had a goal from OCAA all-star Ozzy Keles, and late tally courtesy of Osman Hussein the George Brown squad never had the lead, going down 3-2 to the Knights and entering the consolation bracket.
In their next game against the Fanshawe Falcons, the wheels really came off. The Huskies were out shot 20 to 8, on the way to a 7-1 defeat, with Jesse Oliver being the lone goal scorer for the men’s squad.
While an injury to Huskies star Shaquille Agard during the tournament didn’t help matters, for Williams the real block to the men’s squad at the tournament was mental.
“We took things for granted because we knew we had so much individual talent,” Williams said. “At the end of the day, you have to play like a team. Individual stuff can only help you in little situations.”
The Durham Lords won the provincial tournament for the first time in 20 years, defeating the Algonquin Thunder 2-1 in finals. Both teams will advance to the nationals starting Nov. 8 in Nanaimo, BC.
After a little downtime, Williams is planning on bringing the Huskies back to the field to prepare for the indoor soccer season. The coach said he’s hoping that the disappointment at the provincials will inspire the Huskies men’s squad to play together in the indoor season.
“Hopefully this makes them a little more eager and makes them really understand how important team play is,” Williams said.
The indoor soccer season starts in January.