A Red Deer Renegades elite men’s team is being formed this year with the intention of challenging for a berth in the Alberta Major Soccer League in 2016.
Considering the former Red Deer Major League team finally struck out six years ago after numerous losing seasons, taking another stab at hopefully returning to the highest level of play in the province might seem somewhat unrealistic.
Ian Moody, who has been named head coach of the new squad, is not of that mindset.
“There’s so many good players here,” he insisted Thursday. “There’s a lot of different people from Europe, South America and Central America coming here to work.
“If we can get them out . . . the biggest problem we’re going to have is commitment. That’s the biggest thing, getting guys to come out on a regular basis to train and practice. We’re also hoping to get guys from the college, from the under-18 level and the local men’s league which has some really good players.
“I referee games that involve a lot of these players so I see them play. There’s quite a few good players here.”
The Renegades will conduct their first training session May 3 at noon at the Edgar Industrial soccer fields.
The men’s team will play exhibition games this season against premier sides from Edmonton and Calgary and will either precede or follow the female Renegades Major League home games. The men will also compete in two out of town tournaments and will attend the premier provincials at the end of the summer.
Moody, a long-time resident of Red Deer and former Jamaican national team player who has coached at virtually every level from U10 to indoor major league, will be assisted by former pros and high-level technical trainers Admir Sarcevic and Steve Fullarton.
* The Renegades women’s squad will enter an eighth season of Major League play this spring with Paul Morigeau returning as head coach. Brad Hughes will handle goalkeeper instruction and former semi-pro player Macky Singh will serve as an assistant coach.
The team will hold its first training session May 2 at noon at Edgar Park.