Smyrniotis: Signings Are Coming
150 days after Forge FC lifted the North Star Shield to become the league’s first-ever champions, the Hamilton-based side have parted ways with a small handful of players with goalkeeper David Monsalve representing the only inbound addition so far.
With Canadian Premier League MVP Tristan Borges having been sold to Belgian side Oud-Heverlee Leuven, the hammer has a big task in replacing the 21-year-old who finished the inaugural campaign with thirteen goals and five assists after twenty-seven appearances.
During a discussion with OneSoccer, Forge FC head coach Bobby Smyrniotis told Kurt Larson that while he believes his current group of players has a few faces who can step up to help fill Borges’ role, the club is still making additions through the transfer market – Forge FC is just taking its time to find the right pieces.
You’ll see some quality coming into the group via the transfer market. It’s something that we’re working on. We got a lot of things right in the first year, hopefully that was a good thing, hopefully that can continue. The most important thing is that when you’re adding to a squad like this is that you’re adding increased quality. I think that’s the most important thing. So, you’re not just going to get a player to plug a hole.Bobby Smyrniotis
The words echo the sentiment that Smyniotis has been saying ever since he was back to work a day after winning the league: while he obviously thought the side did well in its league-winning season, he believed his side should have converted more chances than it did. As a result of this, he hasn’t shied away from the fact that he’s looking to add more quality attacking players to his roster.
Here’s the full video of the gaffer’s chat with OneSoccer:
The club retained the majority of its players this season, with only Quillan Roberts, Bertrand Owundi, and Justin Stoddart being officially released. Oluwaseun Oyegunle has reportedly also left the club, but as he was on a developmental contract the club did not feel the need to make an announcement. 2018 CPL U-SPORTS Draft pick Jace Kotsopoulos had also left in the later stages of the season to return to university.
The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the 2020 season schedule in flux, and that means it’s not known when CPL U-SPORTS Draft picks Alex Zis or Gabriel Balbinotti will be able to contest for their spot in the squad. Whatever happens, Smyrniotis will only be adding to the club roster if the players can add something to the team: he’s not just looking to pad the numbers.
You want that guy to come in that could possibly take Borge’s role, and also a couple of other guys that makes sure it makes our team better, because for me depth is important. We use our players and we use our players the most, I believe, in the league, not only just out of necessity but using them the most.
Out of any side in the Canadian Premier League, Forge FC relies on its squad depth to see the club through the most amount of fixtures. As league champions, they’ve qualified for the presently-suspended CONCACAF League, which leaves the side with quite a run of games to play between the Canadian Premier League and the Canadian Championship.
Last year the same conundrum resulted in the CPL shuffling league fixtures around to alleviate the strain on the hammer, with Forge FC going on to represent the CPL well against the likes of Antigua GFC and CD Olimpia via intercontinental competition.
For now, the Hamilton-based side remains the quietest club of the 2020 Canadian Premier League offseason transfer window. If Symniotis makes the right moves, none of that will matter if the club embarks on a successful title defense. For now, however, the club’s careful roster additions remain a quiet mystery in the midst of a league which is seeing players of a higher pedigree join the league for its second-ever season.
Source: OneSoccer (Via YouTube)