VANCOUVER — Of all the CPL-U SPORTS draft picks, York University fifth-year defender Daniel Gogarty could be the most CPL ready.
With the first draft selection in York 9 FC’s history, coach Jimmy Brennan used his first round pick to select Gogarty fourth overall in Monday’s close-door draft.
“We’ve known Gogarty for a while. Right away we knew he was going to be the guy for us.” Brennan said. “Our staff is really familiar with him and we’ve watched him numerous times.
“He has good size and a good presence at the back. He’s a good leader. That’s what we want — a good left-footed Canadian centreback who can control a back line and be a difference.”
But while most of his colleagues used Monday’s draft to select prospects on the cusp of breaking into professional soccer, Brennan believes his first round pick could find success in the league’s inaugural season.
“We’ll be looking for him to come straight into the team,” Brennan said. “There are certain players you look at who have the right characteristics.
“This game is all about winning at the senior level and he has a good mentality. He doesn’t like to lose. He’s the type of guy who I see fitting in with us right away.”
Brennan turned his attention to the future with his second round choice, selecting York University first-year midfielder Emmanuel Zambazis with the 11th pick.
“We know he’ll be a player and one for the future. It will be good to get him training with us in a first team environment,” Brennan added.
“He’s starting to learn his trade. We’ll groom him right and it’s a matter of time before he steps into the first team.”
Zambazis, Brennan agreed, could be the perfect scenario to utilize the CPL’s first-of-its-kind developmental contract, which allows U SPORTS players with remaining eligibility to return to school.
“He’ll go back and forth a little bit,” Brennan said. “We know what his role will be. He’s a good kid. We just have to make sure we protect him and develop him the right way.”
Having scouted last weekend’s U SPORTS Championship, Brennan went for Cape Breton defender Daniel Pritchard 18th overall.
The fourth-year fullback from Nuneaton, England impressed in leading the Capers to Sunday’s U SPORTS final.
“He moved up big time,” Brennan said of Pritchard. “The wingback role is a unique position. You could see (Pritchard) was trained over in Europe and he’s played at a different level.
“He had good pace. He caught my eye right away. I’m looking for specific players who have that. It was one of the reasons we went after him.”