Paulus welcomes all challengers to test their mettle in ‘terrible’ conditions
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FC Edmonton will play their inaugural CPL home match Sunday, May 12 against Pacific FC.

EDMONTON — FC Edmonton head coach Jeff Paulus says Pacific FC will “simply hate” playing in the city when the Eddies host the west coast outfit in their home opener.

“Edmonton is a terrible place to play, you know?” Paulus offered, with a wry smile.

The league announced Friday FC Edmonton will host its first CPL match on May 12 at Clarke Stadium, with Paulus’ side officially kicking off its CPL adventure away from home on May 4 against Valour FC in Winnipeg.

But it’s the first home tie that Paulus has circled on the calendar.

“The weather isn’t always nice in May. It can be a tough trip in October, too,” Paulus continued with a hint of pride in his demeanour.

Clarke Stadium has always been a difficult place to play, with cold, windy conditions consistently leaving players exposed to the elements.

As the northern-most professional club in North America, Paulus expects visiting clubs to struggle when they travel to Alberta.

“If you have been training in somewhere nice like Toronto or Victoria, where it’s nice and toasty, and you come to play us and you’re in a winter coat, that’s a huge advantage,” Paulus added. “I wouldn’t fancy teams coming here.”

The sixth CPL club to open its home slate, FC Edmonton will wait a bit longer to play host. Forge FC and Pacific FC will open their seasons in Hamilton and Victoria two weeks earlier.

“To play at home late like this, I love it,” Paulus told

“I’m not bothered by the timing of it. We get to see extra game film, we get to break them down, and they come into the unknown a little bit.”

Edmonton’s first home CPL match will be the first time Paulus will walk out as gaffer at Clarke Stadium, having previously served as assistant to Colin Miller. As such, he comes well prepared for what May 12 will bring.

“He was so great o keep me involved, so I felt the same stresses he did as a head coach,” Paulus said of Miller. “He has been a mentor to me in a lot of ways. He taught me how to manage game days and that matchday feeling.

“I will be more focused on my players on game day than me.t

“I have to stay normal and real as them as I always do — show them my emotions and reactions are the exact same. I need them to see no anxiety in me.”

FC Edmonton season ticket memberships are available now.