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Cavalry Football Club’s pre-season tour stops in Red Deer this weekend

The event features a kid’s clinic
Cavalry FC vs Halifax Wanderers FC at ATCO Field, Calgary, Alberta - Jun 11, 2022. (Photo by CFC Media/Tony Lewis)

In preparation for their upcoming season in the Canadian Premier League (CPL), the Cavalry Football Club will be coming to Red Deer this weekend.

Based out of Calgary, Cavalry FC is a professional soccer team and will be at The Dome in Red Deer to hone their skills and teach the next generation of players during their new pre-season tour event.

While they’re in central Alberta on Feb. 25 and 26 fans will get the chance for meet-and-greet opportunities, participate in a clinic for those aged eight to 15 to learn from the players, and watch an intrasquad game.

Cavalry midfielder Ben Fisk, who had a hand in organizing the event, said as Alberta’s only professional team in the CPL they felt it is their duty to give other parts of the province outside of Calgary access to the team.

“We want to inspire the next generation and give back to the community,” Fisk said.

“We wanted to extend that hand through central Alberta and even as far north as Edmonton we’d like to expose those communities to our club.”

The event itself was inspired by a similar gathering put on by a professional club based out of Italy, Juventus FC that was displayed in a Netflix documentary. They played a game in front of a small community outside and Fisk said it looked like a great experience for all.

Fisk explained their fans don’t just reside in Calgary but throughout southern and central Alberta. There were a few instances in the past where they planned a number of bus trips to transport young fans and families to Calgary to see a game.

“That’s where we found it could be a bit of a pilot project to try this and give something back to those fans who’ve made the trip to see us and maybe show those who haven’t come to a game these guys are pretty cool,” he said.

Those hoping to attend the event must register ahead of time and the cost is $10 per person. In partnership with Red Deer County and Kal Tire, the funds collected by Cavalry FC will go towards helping the Central Alberta Soccer Association and the Red Deer City Soccer Association.

“They helped us organize the event so the money is going to go back to those organizations and to grassroots soccer in central Alberta,” he said.

Originally it was going to be free but due to limited capacity in The Dome and ensuring they have the right amount of people, they created a small fee.

During the kid’s clinic, Fisk added their priority is to make sure the children are having a great time and create a memorable experience. They’ll focus on fun but if they learn a few new tricks and skills that’ll be an added bonus.

“All of us players can remember a time when we were nine or 10 years old going to see their first professional game, first time meeting a player or something like that,” he said.

“We all know what that feels like as a kid where you just feel totally illusioned by who you’ve met and inspired. For myself, I remember growing up in Vancouver meeting the Whitecaps players and I decided that’s what I’m doing with my life.”

They can’t guarantee they’ll make those same memories for these children but they’re going to try and the only way to find out is to get out in the community.

The Club is a month into its pre-season preparation and this weekend in Red Deer will be their first intrasquad game this year. For the last few weeks, they’ve been training and building up their fitness.

Cavalry hopes to work with central Alberta and Red Deer again in the future.

“It’s a great market for us from a player pathway perspective. We’re looking at all these youth players that dream of playing for our team one day and we want to make sure that no stone is left unturned.,” he said.

“In terms of growing the fanbase of the club, it’s a bit of a drive but not a crazy one to do on a Saturday for a game. There’s a lot of people there who love soccer.”

Ian Gustafson

About the Author: Ian Gustafson

Ian began his journalism career as a reporter in Prince Albert, Sask. for the last three years, and was born and raised in Saskatchewan.
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