Valour FC coach Rob Gale isn’t ready to show his hand quite yet when it comes to upcoming player signings.
Fresh off the acquisition of Canadian international Fraser Aird – which came at the same time as York9 FC announcing its deal to bring in Michael Petrasso – the astute second-year CPL coach wasn’t ready to offer this enquiring reporter much more when it came to transfer window movement.
A few weeks back, Gale teased that Valour would be adding four players with national team experience to the mix for the 2020 CPL season.Aird fulfils the first quarter of that particular promise. But, who else could be joining the fray? And, how close is Gale to adding those pieces?
“We’ve signed the other players, and they will be announced in due process,” Gale told CanPL.ca when asked those very questions.
So, four players locked down, and waiting to be announced. Naturally, the next question is: Why the wait?
“We’re not in a great rush to let everybody know exactly who we’ve got,” Gale answered with a chuckle. “When you’re looking at certain positions, if you show your hand publicly, then it alerts agents or other clubs potentially to your needs. So, we’re quietly and methodically building the squad with the profile of players that we want …”
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While FC Edmonton made a splash with the signing of Hanson Boakai, things have been relatively quiet for Jeff Paulus’ side. Second to them? Valour has indeed been working quietly on building towards the 2020 CPL season. Losing Louis Beland-Goyette to HFX Wanderers FC and Petrasso to York9 might be a touch troublesome, though, Gale affirmed the club is well-poised to compete with their next signings, regardless.
“I think we had competitive ability last year, but we had 103 playing days of injuries,” Gale said when asked about the possibly-improved quality of his new-look squad. “You can go into a season with a competitive squad, and if you’re playing with one-third of it missing the entire year, you’re going to struggle. We’ve documented internally where we need to improve and we’re addressing that.
“But, for sure, I think, the level of play – look, we’ve added Daryl Fordyce, and I don’t think people realize what a good signing that is for this football club. Yes, we may have lost players for various reasons – I’ll say, non-football related- but what we’ve done is make sure that the replacements are coming in and the supporting squad where we needed to improve will be the right people for us with the vision of where this football club is going to go.”
So, fans in Winnipeg will have to continue waiting and watching for news on new additions. Gale promises us they’re on the way.
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All of this, of course, is part of the process as CPL clubs gear up for year two, where Gale expects a much more even playing field than the inaugural campaign.
“I think a lot of clubs are addressing similar situations (in roster building),” Gale explained. “We didn’t know what the level would be for this league in the first year, and two more established teams led the way. Now we know what it is so we have to make sure we’re competing at that level and bringing in players who have that same desire we do as a staff and an ownership, to compete day-in and day-out.
“If we’re not fully there at the moment, we’re adding new signings all the time. But, I think everyone can see the quality that we’ve added has been very, very high so far.”‘
All that being said … expect further signing news from the Winnipeg club sooner rather than later.