Forge FC Set To Retain All Coaching Staff
In the first-ever Canadian Premier League offseason, there’s been no shortage of roster turnover and coaching staff departures: at York9 FC, Carmine Isacco was replaced by Paul Stalteri, Pacific FC brought in Pa-Modou Kah along with several new staff members, and the Halifax Wanderers had a significant amount of coaching stuff changes, too.
At Forge FC, however, continuity is key: head coach and general manager Bobby Smyrniotis has confirmed that the 2019 coaching staff roster remains unchanged heading into the league’s second season. Speaking with Louis Butko in a recent video, the gaffer reaffirmed his confidence in the club’s technical staff:
Yeah, of course, everyone is here. It’s a great group for me to be able to work with. We’ve put in a great offseason and we’re ready to go.Bobby Smyrniotis
The club made it clear earlier on last season that it was sticking with assistant coach Peter Reynders, who was found guilty of misconduct after Cavalry FC striker Jordan Brown – among other Alberta-based players – accused him of making racial remarks. Reynders appealed the decision back in late August, with both the CSA and Forge FC remaining quiet on the matter since.
The Hamilton-based club’s consistency extends beyond its technical staff, too: the reigning champions stuck with the vast majority of its title-winning squad, releasing only three players and selling league MVP Tristan Borges to Belgian side Oud-Heverlee Leuven. For the gaffer, retaining the services of most of the club’s 2019 roster was always part of the plan heading into year two:
I think the plan from the beginning was to keep some continuity in the club for two years. We wanted to bring a culture into the organization, and to do that you need some continuity. We didn’t want to have a lot of turnover. That was the planning going into one year today when we were signing players, just having the confidence in the players, and having confidence in them knowing that this is a group that can win championships and can continue. We’re very happy that we’ve got the guys back and we know we can add a few more pieces that make us better.Bobby Smyrniotis
Excluding the newly-announced Atletico Ottawa, Forge FC is the only Canadian Premier League side still yet to announce any brand new players ahead of the 2020 season, though Bobby has made it no secret that he’s looking to reinforce the club’s options in the final third of the pitch.
The club gaffer appears to have done well in the CPL-U SPORTS Draft as well, selecting U SPORTS Men’s Soccer champion Gabriel Balbinotti along with highly-touted midfielder Alexis Zis, whom we thought wouldn’t make it to the second round of the draft.
With only sixteen players on the books so far (of which only three are internationals), there’s plenty of room for Symrniotis to make adjustments once he finds the right pieces. The Forge FC boss was recently overseas in Europe, though he didn’t go into details on why he had been out of the country.
Whatever happens, the North Star Shield holders still have plenty of filling out to do when it comes to the club’s roster. While an eighth team means a more balanced schedule is on the menu, the club will need to contend with three competitions: the Canadian Premier League, the Canadian Championship, and the CONCACAF League in which they qualified for by virtue of being the first-ever league champions. That means Symrniotis will need to rely on his depth players moreso than any other club.
Whether consistency is key to a successful second season remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: Bobby Smynriotis is confident that the Hamilton-based club will be still be a force to be reckoned with when the next season kicks off in a few months’ time.
Source: Forge FC (via YouTube)