It was the moment we’ve been collectively waiting for. Exactly two hundred and thirty-six days since Forge FC was unveiled as Hamilton’s newest professional soccer club, the players hit the turf this week for the first time as team. Welcome to Forge FC’s inaugural training camp!
With player arrivals, gear pick-up, headshots and physicals wrapped up by Monday evening, Forge FC players and coaches wasted no time diving into preseason action on Tuesday morning at Redeemer University in Ancaster.
“Our goal is to work hard and push each other. We’re focusing on ourselves,” said defender Kwame Awuah before Forge FC took to the pitch on Day 1. “Coach Bobby and the staff are challenging us to show our best.”
Day 1 of training camp focused on conditioning and fundamentals. With Forge FC’s Inaugural Match just over a month away, players prioritized the better part of the first session getting back into the swing of things.
“The whole fitness thing isn’t my favourite part of training to be honest,” jokes midfielder Kyle Bekker, “but it’s important, especially during preseason.”
With players joining Forge FC from a variety of club teams and leagues across the world, Head Coach & Technical Director Bobby Smyrniotis is prioritizing the building of chemistry amongst his players.
“The first week is about bringing all of the guys together and getting them accustomed to each other, both on and off the field,” said Smyrniotis.
“There’s some familiarity amongst the group that speeds up the process. A lot of these guys that have played for me before have a pretty good idea of what my philosophy is and how I like to run things. The new guys in the group will catch on pretty quick,” continued Symrniotis.
Goalkeeper Quillan Roberts, couldn’t hide his anticipation of bonding with his new teammates.
“It’s exciting to get in here and see everybody. All of the familiar faces, all of the new guys. It’s fun getting to know each other.”
So, what is Coach Bobby’s number one message to his team this week?
“We’re all in this together and we’re all a team: from our coaching staff to our equipment manager to the players. We are a very humble and focused group.”
Forge FC continues training camp at Redeemer University for the balance of the month, before traveling to the Dominican Republic with the other six Canadian Premier League clubs for additional training in early April.