Host African Carib ‘A’ at DCVI field
By Pat Payton
St. Marys Juggernauts kick off their Western Ontario Soccer League (WOSL) regular schedule this Friday night at DCVI. Visitors for the 8 o’clock start will be the African Carib ‘A’ squad from London.
Juggernauts are back in the Second Division. Their goal is to improve on last year’s record and finish first or second, which would earn them a spot in the First Division in 2020. Last season, St. Marys finished fourth overall in the 10-team league with a 10-1-7 won-tied-loss record.
“This year’s version of the Juggernauts looks very strong on paper,” returning head coach/manager Wayne Murray told the Independent. “We’ve had 24 young men trying out for this year’s team.
“Last season, we were in first place halfway through the season, but injuries and some prolonged absences by key players left us struggling in the late stages of league play. But our first-half success bodes well for this year.”
Leading scorer back
Juggernauts have 17 players returning from last year’s squad, including striker Kyle Fennema who led the Second Division in goals with 17 and won the division’s ‘Golden Boot’ award. “Kyle runs over people instead of around them,” Murray says.
Other key returnees include goalkeeper Aaron Wybrow, defenders Derek Van De Walle and captain Jake Dickey, striker Lucas Jeffrey and outside midfielder Harrison Ritchie. Wybrow picked up three shutouts in 2018.
Another returnee is Yekini Mills, who was born in Costa Rica and is the son of former Juggernaut Kene Mills.
Talented midfielder Dominic Pieroni is working in Toronto and won’t be back. He’s expected to play soccer in Toronto this summer.
Three new players are Bruno Maia, Vini Sportello and Brian Martinez. Maia and Sportello are from Brazil and coach Murray is excited to have the talented trio in the line-up. Martinez once played for the strong Stratford St. Mikes high school team.
Murray and playing-coach Evan Doupe are very excited about the upcoming 2019 season.
“The new players look very strong and bring lots of experience with them,” Murray says. “We have a very diversified group, having players (formerly) from England, Brazil, Costa Rica and the Netherlands on the team.
“The guys have been practicing hard, both indoor and outdoor, for the upcoming season. Once again our goal is to play hard, and hopefully get promoted back to First Division where I think we belong. So come on out and support your local team.”
–Juggernauts play five of their first six games and eight of their first 10 league matches on home field.
–Juggernauts are expected to sign 21 players for this season. They can dress 18 for every game.
–Coach Murray says Taxandria and London English will be strong opponents this summer. Both clubs dropped down after playing in the WOSL’s First Division in 2018.
Juggernauts’ Division 2 WOSL regular schedule
(All home games at DCVI field)
Friday, May 24 – African Carib ‘A’ at Juggernauts, 8 p.m.
Friday, May 31 – Oakridge at Juggernauts, 8 p.m.
Tuesday, June 4 – Chatham Storm at Juggernauts, 8 p.m.
Thursday, June 6 – Juggernauts at London Croatia ‘B’, Croatia Field London, 7 p.m.
Friday, June 14 – Tillsonburg ‘B’ at Juggernauts, 8 p.m.
Tuesday, June 18 – Taxandria ‘B’ at Juggernauts, 8 p.m.
Friday, June 21 – Juggernauts at Taxandria ‘B’, Taxandria Soccer Complex, 7 p.m.
Friday, June 28 – St. Columban Celtics at Juggernauts, 8 p.m.
Tuesday, July 2 – Chatham Storm at Juggernauts, 8 p.m. (Cup game)
Friday, July 5 – London White Eagles at Juggernauts, 8 p.m.
Tuesday, July 16 – Juggernauts at London White Eagles, North London field, 6 p.m.
Friday, July 26 – Juggernauts at Chatham Storm, Keil Drive 2, 8 p.m.
Tuesday, July 30 – English ‘B’ at Juggernauts, 8 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 11 – Juggernauts at African Carib ‘A’, Chelsea Green, London, 6 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 18 – Juggernauts at Oakridge, Oak Park, 4 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 23 – London Croatia ‘B’ at Juggernauts, 8 p.m.
Thursday, Aug. 29 – Juggernauts at English ‘B’, Curinga Club, London, 8:30 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 5 – Juggernauts at Tillsonburg ‘B’, Tillsonburg Park 1, 8:30 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 15 – Juggernauts at St. Columban Celtics, St. Columban, 2 p.m.