With six months until the start of their new season, the Cascades men’s soccer team has already started their recruitment process. On March 6, the team will be hosting an open tryout at W. J. Mouat Secondary School — the first time the team has done so.
Head coach Tom Lowndes explains that this is unusual for the team, as most recruitment is done by scouting players from other leagues.
“It’s the first year that we’re doing an open tryout where anyone can sign up. In years past it’s been by invitation.”
Lowndes hopes that the tryouts will help bring in players that aren’t spotted during recruitment.
“I wanted to just have a night that was purely devoted to interested players,” he says.
The tryouts will focus on technical elements, as well as game situations.
Recruitment isn’t always the easiest task for coaches, but Lowndes is slowly seeing some improvement.
“As a smaller school, we’re going up against some of the bigger power houses in Canada West: UBC and UVic,” he says. “It’s tough sometimes to compete with that, but I think people have seen we’re starting ourselves as a strong program in Canada West. It’s getting easier to recruit players, and it’s getting easier to recruit quality players to do well for us.”
Having recently signed three Surrey United players (Ryan Donald, David Parfett, and Jesse March), Lowndes notes that regardless of the results of the tryouts, he is content with his roster.
“I’m happy with where we’re at. I’ve typically done a good job of recruiting years in advance,” he says. “We lose one player — it’s a big player, Colton O’Neill — but with the quality of players we’ve got and have signed, I’m more than happy.”
Regardless, Lowndes hopes that the tryouts will bring in some new faces.
“It gives them the chance to come and show us what they can do and see if they’re fit for the program,” he says.