Cowichan LMG not looking past first round of Jackson Cup draw

Cowichan LMG opens against Comox Valley United; Cowichan United opens against Vic West.

Having not seen the field since Dec. 3, and with no games or training sessions coming up in the near future, Cowichan LMG head coach Glen Martin is getting anxious for some soccer.

Seeing the draw for the 2017 Jackson Cup tournament, which was released on Monday, didn’t help matters.

“Those games aren’t for a long time,” Martin grumbled of the first round of play, which begins on the weekend of Feb. 17-19. “Maybe we will be playing soccer by then.”

The two-time defending Jackson Cup champs, LMG will open the tournament against fellow Div. 1 side Comox Valley United. If they win that one, they will face a Div. 2 team, either Fred Milne Park Rangers, Westcastle United or Prospect Lake. If the favourites win every match, Cowichan could end up meeting Gorge in the semifinals.

Characteristically, however, Martin won’t look past the first round, even though his team has never lost to Comox.

“They’ve never actually beaten us, but they battle hard,” he said. “They’re a decent team; they come to play. Whenever you think it’s going to be easy, that’s when they get you.”

Martin is full of sympathy for Div. 2 team Cowichan United, who drew Vic West’s Div. 1 squad in the first round. If they win that, they will face either Bays United or the V.I. Wave, also Div. 1 teams.

“They’re a strong, strong team,” Martin said of United, who sit atop the Div. 2 standings. “They’re a middle-of-the-pack Div. 1 team. But it’s a tough, tough draw, the worst draw [in the bracket].”

LMG had hoped to get in a make-up league game this weekend, but field conditions have set that match aside. Their next game is set for Jan. 20, when they visit Lakehill.

Cowichan United is also scheduled to return to action on Jan. 21 at home against Fred Milne Park Rangers at 6 p.m.