Jump to content

Calgary back in PDL in 2015


Recommended Posts

Overall, it's a positive development.  I still have concerns about the real plan and focus of this club.  The games this year were almost exclusively marketed to and attended by members of the Foothills club and their families.  Going to a game this year most were wearing their club gear.   It was not an unfriendly atmosphere for a non-club member like myself, but I did kind of feel like the guy at a party where everyone knows everyone and you don't know anyone.

 

Can they get support from rival clubs in town or general soccer and sports fans not associated with their club?  How hard will they even try?  I know I never saw anyone wearing their Blizzard or other team's colours at games this year.  Maybe their business model is to get 500 people associated with Foothills out to every game and anyone else is gravy?  We'll see but I hope this is a team that all of Calgary can get behind.  

 

Jason

 

Very valid concerns.  I think my timeline of what Albuquerque did in the same timeframe on page 7 should still be consulted in terms of how they market.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 458
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Posted Images

It's better to establish something small (PDL), but permanent than big (NASL) and walk out after few seasons. Calgary soccer community needs something for young talented players, and PDL is natural step up for them. I'm happy that Foothills is stepping in and bringing semi pro soccer to us.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm thinking if a Calgary Foothills Supporters Group (The Foot Soldiers?) is to officially form, we might as well get a presence on social media started shortly in order to build hype for the spring and get some numbers out. Anyone else on board?

 

Yep...and for the record one of the businesses my boss owns is screen printing and embroidery, so I've got really good software to create cool logos with, etc.

Edited by madmonte
Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 Depends on the weekend, but I will try to be there.  I'm an out-of towner, but I'm Super excited.  Way less far of a drive than Edmonton as I've said.  That said, I'll support the level.  I just hope that when I higher level DOES come that the support for PDL doesn't go right off the radar.

 

 
 
I don't think I've seen a lot of evidence in North America of something smaller hindering something bigger coming in.  Just the opposite, sometimes it facilitates it.

 

 

Agreed.  Recently from a soccer perspective look at Orlando.  

 

Jason

Link to post
Share on other sites

We haven't heard anything about a possible venue yet, have we?  I wanted to ask the group - is anyone familiar with Challenger Park in the NE near the airport?  New facility with natural grass.  I have no idea what it has for seating though.  I'd say it's not a likely location but it's just a place that's been under the radar for me at least.

 

Jason

Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't heard Challenger Park being mentioned but I have heard S.A.I.T.'s pitch being used, (yep the one on top of the parking garage which would have one of the greatest views in the league) with more bleachers being added. I've also heard Shouldice Park mentioned. I also know they are looking into buying some land so they can build their own stadium. I'm sure we'll find out more in the get - together with the folks from FOOTHILLS in the new year.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I know of Challenger Park, but that's about it. Doesn't look like there is any seating, nor room for much more, unless they build up to 48th ave?

 

 https://www.google.ca/maps/place/Calgary+Rotary+Challenger+Park+Society/@51.1003831,-113.9856775,3a,75y,137.94h,84.3t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sGOlb7KMYkerRFqI0l9GNEQ!2e0!4m2!3m1!1s0x537164f313d1544f:0x643a665d4ec96bf2?hl=en

Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't heard Challenger Park being mentioned but I have heard S.A.I.T.'s pitch being used, (yep the one on top of the parking garage which would have one of the greatest views in the league) with more bleachers being added. I've also heard Shouldice Park mentioned. I also know they are looking into buying some land so they can build their own stadium. I'm sure we'll find out more in the get - together with the folks from FOOTHILLS in the new year.

 

From a selfish perspective, I can walk to SAIT's field in about 5 minutes from my house.  But that's the only reason I would think it's a good idea to play there.  Too small to be practical.  Shouldice is okay except for football lines.  There is no obviously good place to put them them - every place will have some negatives.  But at least there will be a team.

 

Jason

Link to post
Share on other sites

If I'm not mistaken, Foothills own land somewhere around Stoney Trail and Peigan Road. I don't know if they have all permits to build new stadium, but for sure something like that is in club's plans. And it's just my SPECULATION, but new venue could be a bridge between PDL and NASL.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Went to watch the first day of try-outs today and there was a decent turn out with alot of talented players on view. Good to see Nik Reyes at the trials and he still has some great skills despite his age. Also spoke to Tommy Wheeldon Sr. who was helping out in the early session and spoke to Thomas Neindorf who was checking out the afternoon session. When I spoke to Tommy Jr. and he said the meeting with the supporters group will be held at the Foothills facility at the end of the month. Also from what he said, early signs are that we will be playing at Shouldice and he spoke about a Pub for the fans to meet up pre and post match and also organizing buses to away matches.  Of course nothing I've mentioned is definite but we should find out more at the supporters meet - up.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Stu, anyone else at tryouts your recognized?

 

Not sure if I should be impressed Reyes is still around or feel bad for him.  I think most of the other Storm/Mustang players have moved on with their lives (except Lars and Ledgerwood who are still playing in Europe).

 

Jason

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm excited for the season. Another opportunity for kids to play. Hopefully they will be more of a KW type success than a Thunder Bay Chill success, meaning having Canadian kids move on to bigger and better rather than getting wins without Canadians.

It'd be nice to see some Alberta boys get some NCAA exposure, right now I think there's a grand total of 0 playing NCAA div 1 soccer.

I wonder if the storm stayed in the PDL, if they'd still be around.

Edited by Soccerpro
Link to post
Share on other sites

If I'm not mistaken, Foothills own land somewhere around Stoney Trail and Peigan Road. I don't know if they have all permits to build new stadium, but for sure something like that is in club's plans. And it's just my SPECULATION, but new venue could be a bridge between PDL and NASL.

Problem is Wheeldon seems to have drunk too much of the USL cool aid and talks about third division usl pro being their next step up rather than the more natural jump up to the higher division 2 NASL and an instant rivalry with FC Edmonton. Their fake soccer pyramid on their website shows third division usl as the second division under mls, no doubt supplied by the usl to them as they haven't got over the bad blood from the split with the NASL TOA 5 years ago.CSA also will not sanction stand alone usl pro teams in Canada as they are hoping to build on the Easton Report on regional D3 leagues for Canada so hopefully foothills realizes NASL is the route to go when they are ready to move up.

 

Moving from third division usl pro to NASL also would be harder at a later time as usl requires teams to sign a exclusivity aggreement that makes it hard to jump to another non usl league even though these agreements aren't likely to hold up in court.

Edited by CDNFootballer
Link to post
Share on other sites

^I don't see this as an issue.  To be honest, if he took the other path and started touting the NASL, that would be like saying he doesn't believe in his own product, and what he is selling.  It's not kool-aid, it's business.

Its usl cool aid to pretend the facts of the soccer pyramid are not what they in fact are and usl is something they're not, and hurts the teams credibility when they blatantly spout the same usl bs that most educated fans know are wrong.

 

How would touting the NASL as the next level for Calgary in a few years instead of usl pro imply he doesn't beleive in his own product? Ottawa had a pdl team previously and made the move to NASL last season so foothills could do the same, if fans can convince him it would be a better path.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah I hate the idea of calling USL Pro Tier 2 when NASL is clearly Tier 2.  We were all moaning about that on their website, myself included when we saw that, as well.  Like call it what it is, right?  So I agree there.  Sorry I thought you meant that it was wrong of him to talk about USL Pro as a natural step up from PDL, which it very well is...and then I consider NASL a small step up from that, same as you :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest ClaytonA

TLDR - good interview, PDL Plus might make better sense as 3-5 year goal.

 

 

Interview from Mr Wheeldon on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Hc3yikVaiMo

 

He's saying many of the right things such as focussing on using local players. Given the need for a sustainable buget this would be wise (and for Canadian soccer development).  Travel costs will be relatively expensive compared the other NW Division teams right from the get go.

 

He mentions some players such as Adekugbe, Piraux, and the couple of players picked up by English academies.  He mentions he's an assistant to Sean Fleming; he's even wearing a Team Canada track suit top. 

 

3-5 years out the club wants to build up to USL Pro which may be possible given the gaps in Western Canada, just as the Victoria Highlanders face, and that USL Pro appears to be trying to regain a two tier professional structure and gain Division 2 sanctioning as part of USL`s business plan.  He mentions drawing spectators which the club will need to do to meet that 3-5 year medium timeline.  At double the USL PDL season length, even more travel, and with some paid players this is still a big jump.  PDL-Plus as an intermediate step ( http://www.uslpdl.com/home/807622.html ) would perhaps be more attainable in 3-5 years because then you cannot rely on post-secondary players and you may have developed enough local talent to be competitive.  Good on them for being ambitious though.  I`d like them to somehow get out of the USL exclusivity clause that was imposed on Oklahoma City`s PDL franchise so they don`t limit their options to USL Pro and could go to NASL.

 

He discusses the pyramid - MLS, NASL, USL Pro, USL PDL (given the other amateur leagues play in the summer in Western Canada - players can't easily cycle back and forth between leagues - and USL PDL's limit on overage players one could debate whether USL PDL is Canadian Division 4; this could be set up as an all-star team with the youth injections as he mentions, U18, U16 helping pro, CIS and NCAA aspirations and be D4 by fiat.  Certainly if you`re young and want to play NCAA this team is your best Calgary-based option.  The CIS does some scouting, the Canadian National youth teams, and youth teams playing in University showcases or other tournaments are the scouting options.  USL PDL is presumably more scouted than the AMSL (one would assume AMSL isn`t).  Playing up age levels or as a youth in the AMSL may get one more playing time to help that part of development (e.g. game intelligence, & etc.) as there are many more games possible given the greater number of local Calgary teams but there`s no age restrictions.  Both leagues, USL PDL and AMSL, play about the same number of games.

 

Similar to the Highlanders, Winnipeg, and KW United I appreciate the bottom up approach and this is a logical next level for Foothills, increase in club profile for an amibitious Western Canadian youth/adult (including the Calgary Darts) football club.  PDL Plus may be the next logical step after this (for Victoria and Winnipeg too at least since Western Canada doesn`t have League 1 or PQSL like Ontario and Quebec).  Saskatoon seems to be partnering with the Whitecaps and going amateur.  Edmonton has the NASL, and ambitious clubs are finding different paths in Western Canada without Canadian options - partner and tie in with strong amateur teams for Canadian Challenge Cup runs, or US-based leagues.  It seems analogous to the larger metro Vancouver youth clubs partnering with adult clubs and putting in PCSL teams, although I'm under the impression the level of play in the PCSL has fallen relatively to the VMSL, FVSL, VISL while the BC Interior has been kind of abandoned outside post-secondary and local amateur leagues (i.e. no path to provincial or national championships).  Could one say that the PCSL, AMSL, and Sask, Manitoba leagues are really on a level - maybe. 

 

I hope Foothills can make it work sustainably to improve Calgary soccer and it opens opportunities for Calgary soccer players.  If it gets fan support, then who knows maybe they could gain the local stature (e.g. corporate support & etc.) to add teams in further higher divisions.

Edited by ClaytonA
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...