Even 15 years into a professional career, some things are still new for David Edgar.
Forge FC’s veteran defender, who’s pretty much seen it all in his travels to Europe and with the Canadian men’s team, admits that 2020 has been a year unlike any other in his time in the sport.
As his side prepares for Thursday night’s Concacaf League fixture in El Salvador, Edgar explained how strange an experience the past month has been. After winning the CPL championship at The Island Games in PEI, Forge had to buckle down again once October came around to prepare for a return to action.
“It’s a strange one because you get back from the bubble, you’ve won the tournament, you’ve done what you’ve expected and wanted to do,” Edgar told CanPL.ca.
“And then it’s kind of like, you don’t really have that competitive edge in training, because nothing was confirmed for the game time, stuff like that. But once it was ramped up and we started doing our tactical work, we could feel the dynamic shift, which was exactly what we needed.”
Forge learned shortly after returning from Charlottetown that they’ll be playing Club Deportivo Municipal Limeño in this preliminary round tie, and they learned about a week ago that the game will be at Estadio Cuscatlán, behind closed doors, in San Salvador.
Once all the details came in, it became easier to zero in on the task at hand.
“It’s a massive game and we need to be ready,” Edgar stated. “Without that match mindset it is tough to do so.”
Ultimately, though, he’s confident that Forge have risen to the challenge, and will be prepared for whatever their Salvadoran opponent throws at them. Really, the whole experience of 2020 is one that may eventually have a positive impact on the club.
“Nothing about any of this is normal. It’s new to myself, who’s been in the game for so long,” he said.
“In fact, in the long run for these young players it’ll be a good stint for their careers, because to be able to switch back on that mentality and have that intensity in training, even though you don’t know when the games are coming next, it’s an impressive thing to be able to do.”
Although this particular scenario is new for Edgar, playing down in Central America certainly isn’t. With 42 senior national team caps under his belt, the Kitchener, Ont. native has been all over the continent, from Honduras to El Salvador to Mexico.
He’s passed on as much of his wisdom as possible to his younger teammates, although their experience with last year’s Concacaf League has certainly helped prepare them for what to expect in El Salvador. Things like their team-wide bout of flu picked up in Honduras during last year’s run in the tournament (days before an away game against Pacific FC) have steeled their resolve, according to the veteran defender.
“The fact that the boys had the opportunity to do it last year will be massive for the group as a whole. They know what to expect, they know the grass, they know the fields,” Edgar said.
“When you go down to Central America the atmosphere is usually quite tense, it’s overwhelming in some places. We don’t have to do that, but these guys are professionals and they want to play in some of those environments, so it’s a bit of a catch 22.”
Forge have lofty expectations for this Concacaf League run, especially now that most of the team has played in the competition before. Edgar, for his part, is confident in the CPL champions’ ability to go far.
“The boys are excited,” he said. “It’s a massive opportunity to go on a run, like we did last year.”