EDMONTON — FC Edmonton coach Jeff Paulus served in the Royal Canadian Navy.
Perhaps, then, his understanding of the words “training camp” might be a little more, ahem, intense as Canadian Premier League players reported to training camps this week.
Recruits in any of the Canadian Forces branches are expected to undergo basic training, navigating the great outdoors, bonding. Simply put, they work their tails off.
Well, FC Edmonton’s players might just be getting a taste of basic training. Or, as Paulus referred to it in a tweet Thursday, “character building.”
The team had previously announced its players would not be available to the media from Thursday through the weekend. Then, rumours surfaced that the team had departed Edmonton.
Then, late Wednesday afternoon, Paulus tweeted a photo of a campsite surrounded by snow.
— Jeff_Paulus (@jeff_paulus) March 7, 2019
What we know: The team is away. There’s a media blackout. No players are supposed to be on social media. No players are supposed to take calls. They’re in the great outdoors, in subzero temperatures, experiencing the Canadian wilderness together.
At least the bears are still hibernating, right?
We’re all used to hearing about pro teams going to some tropical resort, training on lush green pitches or, hey, even beaches.
— Pacific FC (@Pacificfccpl) March 8, 2019
But it’s clear FC Edmonton doesn’t roll like that.
Of course, Valour FC coach Rob Gale wagered that, wherever Paulus has taken his team, it might not compare to a winter day in Winnipeg.
Come walk down portage avenue next son – that’s character building – see if you get to Main Street ??
— Robert Gale (@galey77) March 8, 2019
Winnipeg’s Portage and Main is iconic for being the coldest, windiest intersection in this country, a claim that hasn’t been proven.