Pa-Modou Kah: ‘Adrenaline’ will aid Pacific FC at The Island Games

Every Pacific FC player in Prince Edward Island is fit and ready to play.

That’s good news, because the Tridents will need every single one of them.

Pacific coach Pa-Modou Kah spoke to the media Friday about their Island Games opener vs. HFX Wanderers FC on Saturday (3:00 p.m ET/4:0o p.m. AT) and confirmed he has a full slate of healthy players available for selection– 17 outfield players and two goalkeepers.

“We have good depth and versatile players who can play multiple positions – and especially going into a tournament like this, you need it,” Kah said.

Thursday’s 2020 CPL season opener made that abundantly clear.

RELATED READING: CPL regular season: The Island Games || CPL season previews for all eight teams

All ten substitutions were made between Cavalry FC and Forge FC, who both struggled to keep fitness levels over the full 90 minutes due to a lack of pre-season friendlies.

If Day 1 fitness is an issue in PEI, the coming weeks could be even worse. Forge and Cavalry will be in action again this weekend while Pacific is set to take on York9 FC on two days of rest.

When asked, Kah dismissed issues with a short bench: “The adrenaline will get the boys going on. We have 17 players, but they are fit – our conditioning team has done them so well.

“I have no concern with their physical or mental states, to be honest.”

He also added Marcel de Jong has come into the regular season “fully fit.” The 33-year-old former Canada and Bundesliga fullback featured just twice for PFC last season after rupturing his Achilles.

Marcel de Jong. (CPL/Chant Photography)
Marcel de Jong. (CPL/Chant Photography)

Saturday will bring more PFC debuts than just Kah, with big off-season free-agent signing Marco Bustos, Mexican star Alejandro Diaz, and former Ottawa Fury goalkeeper Callum Irving all expected to start.

Kah took a moment to address Diaz, insisting supporters and pundits will be surprised to see the former Club America striker’s quality against Wanderers.

“There are only a few players in this league – de Jong, David Edgar maybe – that have played at the levels he has,” Kah said.

“He’s a very humble person so when he comes to training he sets a tone for everyone. That’s been a massive tool for me as a coach.”

While a side tipped by some for a CPL Championship, Kah is keeping any confidence concealed, electing to paint his team as an understaffed underdog.

Oh, and forget about learning how Pacific will line up for he first game of Kah’s tenure as bench boss.

“I have an idea, a philosophy, and the players have bought in,” Kah said. “Everyone who knows me knows I love attacking football, but there’s a fine line.

“We may not bring 23, but we have 18 players that are fit – and that we believe in.

“We have quality, and I hope they justify it against Halifax.”

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