Cowichan LMG will begin their defence of the Garrison Cup title this Friday when they open the Vancouver Island Soccer League season at home against Gorge United at the Sherman Road turf at 7:30 p.m.
Gorge was the only team to beat Cowichan in the 2015-16 season, winning 2-1 on the last play in the last game of the year. Cowichan won 1-0 when the teams met earlier last season.
“They play us hard,” Martin said. “They really do. I’m expecting a good game.”
Gorge finished sixth in Div. 1 last season, but Martin isn’t sure what to expect from the club this year.
“They’ve got a new team this year,” he said. “They’ve got six or seven guys who have moved from other teams to Gorge.”
Cowichan recently added Liam Gorman, brother of third-year player Craig, to the roster. Liam has played in Div. 2 with Saanich Fusion and is excited to be joining the Cowichan lineup.
“He’s a sturdy, solid defender-type player,” Martin said. “He’ll help us a lot.”
Martin is carrying a small roster right now, and will need everyone playing their best over the first two months until he can add a few more bodies. This Friday’s game will show him where the team stands this year.
“In Div. 1, you have to expect a good game every time,” he said. “We’ve got to be ready.”