Has York9 FC coach Jimmy Brennan settled on a tactical plan for Saturday’s inaugural match against Forge FC?
“You know I’m not gonna tell you that,” he bluntly told CanPL.ca, when asked to tease his approach.
Brennan is keeping his cards very close to his vest as he puts the finishing touches on the squad that will suit up at Tim Hortons Field this weekend. The most specific he’ll get is to confirm that, thankfully, York9’s squad is free of any injury concerns heading into the opener.
“We’ve got our tactics, we know how we’re going to play,” he added. “But I definitely can’t go into too many details.
“I’d be silly to tell you how we’re going to play.”
No pre-game tactical breakdown from the manager, then.
Instead, we’re left mostly to speculate.
The Nine Stripes have plenty of talent in their roster, and both Brennan and his assistant, Carmine Isacco, suggested in pre-season that they’re hoping the squad will be versatile in how it can line up.
“For us it’s going to be a team effort,” said Brennan, remaining coy on any details. “We’ve got our tactics that we worked on, if we stick to our game plan we’re working on right now we’ll be okay.”
It’s possible to at least guess how York9 might look on Saturday, though.
Matt Silva will, almost undoubtedly, start in goal, having by far the most experience in that position.
Down in the Dominican, York9 tinkered with a three-man backline – no surprise, given how much defensive talent Y9 has in Luca Gasparotto, Roger Thompson, and Daniel Gogarty.
A few other players fit pretty snugly into specific roles as well: Expect Joe Di Chiara to lead the midfield’s defensive effort with his physical style; Wataru Murofushi, a dynamic attacker, will likely play just behind the likes of a striker like Simon Adjei or Michael Cox, tasked with creating space and unlocking those finishers.
One interesting point in the squad will be where on-loan local talent Ryan Telfer lines up. He played almost exclusively on the left flank as a wing-back or winger with Toronto FC, but he told CanPL.ca in pre-season that he expects to see more minutes in the centre of the pitch this year with York9.
Brennan had an opportunity to watch Forge FC in training during their Dominican trip, and he’s confident he’s designed a game plan for neutralizing their threats. Again, though, he’ll keep mum on exactly what aspects of their rivals he’s focusing on, preferring instead to discuss the challenge of opening an inaugural season on the road.
“They’re at home, we expect them to come at us. We expect their crowd to get behind them,” he said. “But we’ve got a lot of fans going to that game, and we’re going to be there to play spoiler.”
He added: “We know how they play, we know their players.”
Brennan seems confident he knows how to beat Forge, but he’s giving nothing away.
So, add this to the anticipation for the inaugural match. Educated guesses will only take us so far (to about an hour or so before 1 p.m. on Saturday, actually). A secret or two about York9 FC will be revealed when they finally take the pitch on April 27 … and no sooner, if Brennan has his way.
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