Forge’s Bobby Smyrniotis Confident In Squad Depth
It was only about a month ago when fans were speculating how Forge FC would deal with a heavily congested match schedule after their foray into the CONCACAF League pushed a handful of regular season games into an already-packed September and October calendar.
Since the month of September, Forge FC has played eight games in the span of about 33 days. They’ve gone undefeated the entire time, winning five of those eight matches and drawing the rest. Suffice to say, the Hamilton-based club has handled the congested schedule quite well.
To help ease the pain of such fixture congestion, Forge FC head coach Bobby Smyrniotis brought in two of his former Sigma FC players, Oluwaseun Oyegunle and Justin Stoddart, the latter of which made his professional debut against York9 FC last night. Hosting Forge’s local rivals at Tim Hortons Field, a goal from golden boot leader Tristan Borges saw the Hamilton-based club continue its dominance of the 905 Derby, even with a drastically different lineup than it deployed against FC Edmonton four days prior.
We started today with four different defenders than the last game. I think that says a lot for the confidence I have in the group, the confidence I have in the players.Bobby Smyrniotis
Last night’s 905 Derby saw a backline featuring the likes of Bertrand Owundi and Kwame Awuah, both of whom are on a knife’s edge in term of yellow card suspension: if they pick up a yellow card between now and the closing of the regular season, they’ll miss one leg of the Canadian Premier League finals due to the league’s strange fourteen-day delay in yellow card accumulation suspensions.
The club’s latest 905 Derby win sees Forge FC retake the pole position in the Canadian Premier League fall season table, with the Hamilton-based club now on 34 points, giving it a two point cushion above spring season winners Cavalry FC. With Smyrniotis accomplishing the feat while utilizing the majority of his 23-man roster, Borges says the squad cohesion is in a good place at the moment:
You can see the quality that it’s bringing. A lot of players are coming in, putting in good minutes, putting in a good shift. The vibe is amazing right now.Tristan Borges
Whether this vibe carries Forge FC all the way to a fall season title remains to be seen, but one thing remains certain: the inaugural Canadian Premier League Finals will take place between Forge FC and Cavalry FC, with the two clubs being the de facto top teams throughout the entire calendar year. The result is the league’s best naturally-developed rivalry, and regardless of how much rotation each squad ultimately undergoes, it’s going to be a historic matchup filled with fireworks when the two sides duke it out to decide the first-ever domestic league champion.
Source: Canadian Premier League