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Soccer team eyes the prize

Aaron Hall | Interrobang | Sports | September 19th, 2005

The Canadian championships are within reach.

Head coach Paul D'Hollander and his coaching staff have selected the 2005 version of the Fanshawe Falcon men's soccer team. With five straight final four appearances in the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) provincial championships, the men hope to take one step further this season and capture a national crown.

D'Hollander will be helped by assistant coaches Mario D'Oria, Marco Tamasi, and also another familiar face. Rob Pereira, Fanshawe's 2005 male recipient of the Athlete of the year award and All-Canadian soccer player, will join the coaching staff this season.

“Rob will bring a great deal of experience to the team, and will help with the offensive side of things immensely,” said D'Hollander.

This year's team selection was the most difficult in his tenure at Fanshawe, D'Hollander said. There are many motivated and skilled players throughout the roster.

“We will have a really strong bench,” said D'Hollander. “We will have a lot of foot speed, and are very competitive. Our players are also very committed to the program and are very good students of the game.”

As with any team starting off a season, Fanshawe will be faced with the challenge of coming together as a unit. D'Hollander said it will take some time to learn the idiosyncrasies of each player and what circumstances they can each excel in.

Returning players include Chris Davis, who leads a veteran goaltending crew, Jermaine Shakes and Adam St. Laurent who will be defensive stalwarts for the squad, and Rudy Stipancic who will likely be the primary leader and team captain. Adam Magier and Brett Lawson also return to the team after short absences from the program.

Larry Ferreira, Wassim Elrafih, Paul Murphy, and Greg Remijm are freshman players who will be counted on along with the ten players with varsity experience to lead this team to their ultimate goal.

D'Hollander says the team's primary goal is to win the OCAA championship and move on to the national tournament. Although it won't be easy, D'Hollander is still optimistic.

“We're looking forward to the challenge,” said D'Hollander. “How well we gel together and if we can stay injury free will be some determining factors.”
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