After a stellar season going undefeated in men’s competitive soccer, the Cochrane Rangers are looking to jump up a league next year.
In their last season game against the Latin Furia Soccer Club on Oct. 2, the Rangers, who were playing in the Calgary United Soccer Association’s intermediate ‘C’ division with eight players, finished the game with a 6-1 win.
Coach Angelo Papapoulis said he is proud of the team for their accomplishments in what was only a half season, with many new players and little practice time.
“The pandemic has been tough for everybody, but to be proud for the boys, the team had 27 goals for them and three against out of the seven games," he said. "That’s outstanding.”
Papapoulis said their performance was even more impressive considering the teams they were up against had already played seven games together before the Rangers entered the season.
Papapoulis said he is confident that after their performance this season, the team would benefit from moving up to a more difficult league next year.
“We will try to keep the team together [over the winter] and pick up a few more guys next year for indoor,” he said. “And then I’d like to push them closer to division one or division two depending on how things go.”
Much of the team’s success Papapoulis credits to the Rangers team captain Craig Bound and assistant captain Alex Paridis, who Papapoulis has nicknamed Alexander the Great.
“Both of those guys play the game very hard, so all the young guys adapt with their leadership,” he said. “So, it was very easy for me to coach, I didn’t do much, they did everything well.”
Rangers goalkeeper Killian Stuart-Lyon said he was pleasantly surprised by how the season went with about 40 per cent of the players on their team being new.
“We managed to gel really quickly which was nice and just took the season by storm,” he said.
Stuart-Lyon said he had a feeling they had something great going with their team when they took on a team that had dropped down from a higher division in their first game.
“We assumed at least that they’d be one of the harder tests, and we did beat them," he said. "So, we kind of started getting a sense of it early on, which was nice and gave us some confidence. I think halfway through the season we got all the hard games out first. So, it was nice to coast after that essentially.”
Stuart-Lyon said he is proud of their team and hopeful that they can carry their performance through the upcoming indoor season and next year’s outdoor season as well.