Rob Gale: Valour lacked ‘bravery’ in shot-less Island Games opener

Valour FC got the worst one out of the way on Sunday.

The Winnipeg side dropped their 2020 Canadian Premier League opener 2-0 to Cavalry FC on Prince Edward Island.

Valour FC coach Rob Gale, while optimistic about his side’s performance, said their Island Games debut was more an exercise in, well, match fitness. The side hadn’t played a competitive match in almost 300 days.

“There’s no harder game in the CPL than Cavalry,” Gale stated. “We can be a lot better but there was a lot of learning out there.”

Valour sported ten new players in their starting lineup, with Dylan Carreiro the lone carryover from Valour’s wooden spoon-worthy 2019 campaign. Cavalry, meanwhile, had already played at The Island Games, drawing Forge FC on opening night.

The Cavs showed that lack of rust in the first half with a smart cross from Mo Farsi finding Marcus Haber at the back post. A penalty minutes later gave the Cavs a 2-0 lead and put Valour in a hole from which they wouldn’t emerge.

But, as Gale insisted, there were positives for his side.

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“We showed we’re different in both boxes. We won’t be bullied or rolled over,” said Gale, before adding the Cavs had very-few-to-no clear-cut chances.

But, at the other end, Valour failed to record a single shot on target. Save for a second-half penalty shout, Valour were largely smothered by the Cavs.

Gale didn’t shy away from discussing his side’s poor offensive performance with new-look attacking force Shaan Hundal, Fraser Aird, and Brett Levis combining for just five touches in the Cavalry FC box.

“I know they have technical quality,” Gale said. “They just needed to be braver. We shied away from it in the first half.

“We got it into the wide areas, but we needed to work it side to side to unlock them a bit more. We were more comfortable playing a clipped ball through the ball rather than a punched ball.”


Gale was unable to offer an update on Arnold Moutou post-match. The former Ligue 1 left fullback went down with a leg injury in the second half.

Up next for Valour FC is Atlético Ottawa on Wednesday (1:00 p.m. ET/2:00 p.m. AT). The expansion side was impressive in their inaugural match against York9 FC Saturday, grabbing a point in a 2-2 draw.

Gale, unlike his York counterpart Jimmy Brennan, will have tape on Ottawa to review. Perhaps that means a better offensive output from Valour?

“They tried to play football and showed great effort. They dug in and got a credible result so congrats to them,” Gale said.

“But we’re ready to go again.”

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