April 16, 2024
  • April 16, 2024
Valour FC Preseason 2024

Valour Sets Course For Portuguese Preseason

By on March 20, 2024 0 1090 Views

It’s travel day for Valour FC – something the Canadian Premier League side will have to get used to aplenty in the opening stages of the upcoming Canadian Premier League season.

Valour is flying out to Portugal for a ten-day training camp in Melgaco, Portugal in preparation for what will be the club’s sixth season. Based northeast of Porto, the club will face a number of local sides from Portugal’s second and third tiers, including the Canadian-owned SC Vianense.

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The Winnipeg-based side has typically kept its preseason domestic. Last year saw them head out to the west coast, but this year head coach Phillip Dos Santos is shifting gears as he prepares for what he hopes will be an ambitious and validating campaign for the club.

“This is a first for the club,” he said of the trip to Ed Tait. “It’s good for us, but it’s good for the brand to be exposed outside of Winnipeg and the CPL. Everything is important. We looked at all of that when we decided this was a good thing for us. It’s important players to a different culture and a different set up, and that’s always good.”

The head coach says the environment offered at the Centro De Estagios De Melgaco allows for a retreat-type of vibe where the club can put a focus on team preparations and, unlike some of its past camps, train against teams that are brand new and offer new hurdles.

Of course, spending ten days in Portugal will help the team bond together, too.

“It allows us to connect the guys in different ways. The biggest connection comes on the field and the interaction the guys have there,” adds Dos Santos, “but it’s good to do it in other ways, too, and when you’re in an environment where you’re spending so much time together you can be creative and engage guys in different ways.”

Valour FC Chantzopoulos
Photo Credit: Valour FC

The club will kick off the 2024 CPL season with seven straight away games due to the new pitch being installed at Princess Auto Stadium, so the international camp will be a good opportunity to test the road-trip mentality for Valour’s new-look lineup.

After finishing bottom of the league last season, the club has parted ways with an incredible sixteen players. Eleven new faces have come in, most of whom had already showcased themselves in Canada’s top flight for other clubs. The objective of the group is clear: playoffs have remained illusive for Winnipeg’s own, and this group aims to change that.

One of the few returning faces is Jordan Haynes, who was injured for a chunk of last season but came storming back at the end. The Peterborough native won the league with Pacific in 2021, and he likes what he sees from both the new roster and the international preseason.

“The best thing you can do is travel to a place and get multiple games,” says the full-back himself. “Phil knows Portugal well and he’s got us a good opportunity to get really good, high-quality games. I think it will be a really good preparation for the season.”

Valour will kick off its sixth Canadian Premier League campaign away to Vancouver FC on April 14.

Header Image Photo Credit: Valour FC

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