Cavalry FC announces start of pre-season ahead of 2021 CPL season

Cavalry FC has officially begun pre-season training in Calgary, the club announced late Tuesday, joining fellow FC Edmonton, HFX Wanderers FC, and Atlético Ottawa in on-field preparation for the 2021 CPL season.

Club officials confirmed training had commenced once “full approval” was given by local government and health authorities, with players and staff “adhering to strict health and safety guidelines” laid out by Alberta Health and the CPL’s return to training protocols

“It’s been around 200 days since we last had the opportunity to train together at the Island Games on Prince Edward Island,” Cavalry coach Tommy Wheeldon Jr said in a statement. “We will use this positive news as a step toward where we all want to get back to, playing on the pitch at Spruce Meadows in front of our fans once again.”

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Tuesday’s announcement comes one day after FC Edmonton unveiled their return to the pitch at the Edmonton Soccer Dome.

“I am pleased with the thorough plan that has been created and submitted by our Health and Safety team,” Cavalry President and COO Ian Allison said. “We have been most fortunate to live and play in a community that has experience in such matters, understands the importance of cooperation and is very respectful of the detail and attention that is required in taking the next steps in a safe return to play strategy.”

Practices are closed to external media and public viewing to ensure compliance with protocols.

The club also unveiled a video (seen above) that shows Cavalry players training and some footage of Macron Performance Centre in Calgary. The video also features first-time looks at new Cavs signings Joe Di Chiara and Daan Kloomp.

“It feels great to be back on the field, not going to lie,” Cavs midfielder Nik Ledgerwood said. “It’s great to start reconnecting with the guys here as we start working towards that goal of a first game of the season.”

Al Classico rivals FC Edmonton and Cavalry are the third and fourth CPL clubs confirmed to return to training, joining HFX Wanderers FC and Atlético Ottawa. Halifax began last week, while Ottawa is currently based in Spain with the club’s parent organization, Atlético de Madrid.