The Central Alberta Buccaneers who play in the Alberta Football league, are more than just a community football team, they’re a brotherhood.
A second family practically, according to third year defensive back Ryan Miller, who is originally from Ontario but has found a home with the Bucs.
“For myself, moving from Ontario I didn’t really know anyone out here, didn’t have any family or friends out here. Being able to welcome new guys in and make them feel comfortable and part of the family is really big,” Miller said.
The team held their first free, open indoor tryout on Feb. 4 and will host two more, one on Feb. 12 and the other on Feb. 26.
Miller said the tryouts are laid back, and just designed to help people to get out and see how close knit the football community is.
”It’s just to get the guys out, get them together and get them running around for the guys that have been on the team before,” Miller said.
“For new guys, chance to come out, meet some of the guys. See what we’re all about. We’re really big on creating a brotherhood and a family having that bond together.”
Coming off an undefeated regular season in the AFL, the team’s only blemish came in a devastating 32-23 championship game loss at the hands of the Fort McMurray Monarchs. They will need to make a few replacements on the offensive side of the ball, Miller said the core of the team is still intact.
“It’s hard to match the talent we had last year. We did lose a couple guys,” Miller said, noting top receiver Jamal Henry will not be back this season.
“I think we’re still going to have a good team. The main core guys coming back. Defensive wise, we all know the system well. The numbers our offence put up last year, that’d be hard for any team to match. We should have a pretty good team, we’ll definitely be contending.”
The tryout this Sunday is from 8-10 p.m. at Westerner Park, anyone is welcome and no pads or helmets are required to participate.