All credit goes to Ottawa Sportspage: LINK.
For coach Phil Teske and his Nepean Hotspurs Fusion team, the focus for the 21st-annual Nepean Friendship Tournament was, appropriately, all about teamwork and team building.
His group wound up coming away from the June 13-14 event at Ben Franklin Park with not only that objective reached, but a gold medal from the U15/16 girls’ competition as well – one of two golds and four medals overall won by the host club’s five tournament entries.
“This is a new team for me, so it’s a real bonding tournament,” Teske signals. “You get to play short games, but four of them. You really start to gel together and play as a team.”
The early-season event does wonders for the players, adds Tekse, whose squad downed the Glengarry Hearts in their division final.
“It’s about becoming closer as a team and working together, but it’s always nice to win a tournament too, that helps the bonding,” he smiles. “They got to know each other. Instead of just practice, practice, practice, they got to depend on one another. They knew that they had each other’s backs in the game. It was nice to see.”
Featuring six divisions in total, the tournament drew 16 boys’ and 14 girls’ district and regional-level competitive teams, including around a third from outside the Eastern Ontario District Soccer Association from as far as North Bay and Toronto.
The Hotspurs’ medals came from the Hotspurs U16 boys (gold), the U13 Hotspurs Heat girls (silver) and a second medallist in the U15/16 category from the Winston Bonnick-coached U16 girls (bronze).
Other division champions included St. Anthony (U14 boys, Tier 1), Smiths Falls (U14 boys, Tier 2), Kingston (U13 girls) and St. Lawrence (U14 girls).
“It was a great tournament,” underlines Teske, whose team will be sure to return next year “not just because it’s our club putting it on, but because everyone enjoyed it.
“It was well organized and all the teams that entered were well disciplined. It was a really good weekend.”