As they prepare to open their defence of the Vancouver Island Soccer League championship and Jackson Cup title, Cowichan LMG is starting the season with a lean and mean lineup.
“We’re looking alright,” coach Glen Martin said. “We have a very small roster. We’ll try to get away with as few guys as possible until guys start coming back from university. We just can’t afford any injuries or guys being away right now.”
It doesn’t help that the team lost Ryan Ashley, a highly touted defender who played alongside Tyler Hughes with the Victoria Highlanders, when he found a new job in Vancouver.
“That sucks,” Martin said. “He’s a big, strong defender who could have helped us.”
Still, the coach is feeling good about the players he does have.
“We’ll be alright. We have low numbers but the quality is good.”
LMG will open the season this Saturday on the road against Westcastle United at Westhills Stadium Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Cowichan beat Westcastle twice last season: 7-1 at home last year, and 2-0 on the road.
“They’ll probably look the same as last year,” Martin said. “As long as we score first, that’s the key in this league.”
Cowichan’s first home game is set for Sept. 19 when they host Comox at 4 p.m. at the Sherman Road field.
In Div. 2, Cowichan United will play at Powell River Villa this Sunday, and will be at home to Prospect Lake next Saturday at 6 p.m.