Silberbauer acknowledges role of significant ‘firsts’ in historic home opener
Pacific FC will play their inaugural CPL home match Sunday, April 28 against HFX Wanderers FC.
Pacific FC will play their inaugural CPL home match Sunday, April 28 against HFX Wanderers FC.

Pacific FC head coach Michael Silberbauer knows firsts are always massive, but difficult, occasions.

He’s expecting a test when his Vancouver Island-based Canadian Premier League outfit hosts HFX Wanderers FC on April 28 at Westhills Stadium for the first match in club history.

The 37-year-old Danish tactician has had plenty of similar firsts in his club and international careers.

“My first club game, the first time I played for the (Denmark) national team, the first time I won a championship,” he rattled off to as the league revealed its home openers Friday. “These are all things I look back on and I’m proud of.

“And this game will rank up there with all those moments.”

Indeed, Pacific FC will make history by hosting the Wanderers on the opening weekend of the CPL’s inaugural season, and the weight of that history isn’t lost on Silberbauer, who will be making his own head coaching debut on the sidelines in a match his staff have been “working toward” for months.

And while the atmosphere at Westhills Stadium promises to be electric on the day, Silberbauer added the focus in the dressing room will be on collecting three points against a side made to travel from sea to sea.

“It is part of history, but once you’re in it, you have to do your job, and only after do you sit down and think about the fact that you’ve made history,” he added.

Some 4,476 kilometres separate Vancouver Island from Halifax, making it the third-longest road trip among top-tier soccer leagues worldwide daunting eight-hour flight Silberbauer is quite pleased his side won’t have to make on opening weekend.

“I’m happy that it’s a home game,” Silberbauer concluded. “Of course, it is a competition and we will have to go to Halifax eventually, so it doesn’t matter too much. But I am pleased that our first game is at home.”

While Silberbauer prepares to host the Wanderers, his opposite Stephen Hart figures there’s something of a daunting task at hand.

“When I saw that, I was like, whoa – we get that 3,000-mile journey right off the bat? But it is what it is,” Hart told, with a chuckle. “At some point, you have to do it. I just have to try and be prepared for it.”

Luckily for HFX Wanderers FC, Hart brings plenty of experience making those long trips, having managed the national outfits of both Canada and Trinidad and Tobago. As such, Hart has seen just about every travel obstacle you can encounter and knows exactly what sorts of excuses to look out for from his players, too.

“None of us know how the players will travel yet. That’s the biggest adaptation to playing in this league – how well the players will travel,” Hart explained.

“We have to educate our players on acclimatizing themselves quickly and how to go about it, how they’re nutrition relates to travel and all of that, and adapting to time zones. It’s going to be an educational process.”

Pacific FC season memberships are available now.