Manager Interview: Crusaders FC
Today we visit with new BDSL team Crusaders FC. Manager Will Bolton talked about why they chose to join the league, ambitions and expectations in D1 and more.
BDSL: Welcome to the BDSL! What made you decide to join the league and give us an idea of how your side came to be?
CFC: So since the end of my senior year high school season, the guys on the team and I had come up with the idea of putting together a BDSL team for the next summer so that we could continue the dynasty we had created at Canisius, but the idea kind of faded until I brought it back up to some of the guys. When I brought up the idea again in the fall to a few of my close friends from my graduating class, we all thought it was an excellent idea that we needed to push forward. We determined that for the time being, the team would just be made up of current Canisius High School players along with recent alumni. So from then, we contacted guys that we have personally played with over our time at Canisius and we are currently in the process of reaching out to more alumni in the area to take the last few spots on the squad.
BDSL: So this team will not have much experience playing in the league before? Do you think that will be an advantage as other teams won't know what to expect or did you think having some players with BDSL experience would be helpful?
CFC: Being that we won't have much experience playing in a league like this, I think we will have the advantage of surprising other teams based on our style of play. As a young team, we will be able to outlast a lot of the other teams stamina-wise and I think that in itself is one of the greatest advantages we will have. We do have a few guys with prior BDSL experience, so they will be able to help come up with a game plan to matchup against some older, more experienced teams.
BDSL: Would you say you are familiar with other sides in D1? You said you model your side after Williamsville Willies and OP Alliance. Do you think you can have the same sort of success they had when they joined the league?
CFC: Personally, I don't know much about any of the D1 sides other than the teams that got relegated from the championship last season. We're looking forward to adapting ourselves to the style of play to compete well in D1. I think that adaptability will help us be as successful as a team like the Willies or OP Alliance. We want to continue the trend of new teams being highly successful in the various divisions.
BDSL: And just what do you think your team strengths might be? Are you a defense first team? Counter Attack? Speed? How would describe your team and preferred playing style?
CFC: I think that we are a very balanced team on the field. Mike Mazarra is a great talent in the back and will be a great asset to have when facing up against teams with physical forwards. Charlie Stube and Noah Johnston are extremely solid in the midfield and they'll be able to ping the ball amongst each other and our forwards. Vinny Cancilla and JP Bobak are fantastic talents throughout the entire field. We'll be a very speedy team and we'll be looking to play Barcelona-esque soccer. We have the talent to play that way and I'm personally looking forward to seeing the success we'll have throughout the season.
BDSL: What are your thoughts about the Tehel Cup? What would you consider a success for you guys in that tournament? Do you think that you'll put less focus there and more towards your goals of playoffs and promotion?
CFC: I personally haven't had any experience with the Tehel Cup because I was unable to play in it for Lakeside last year. However, I know there is decent competition, as it comprises of teams from higher divisions. I'm positive that we can compete and do well. As for a goal for success this year, I would consider a quarterfinal finish as a reachable goal, but we have the talent to do more as long as we bring maximum effort in every game. For this year however, we would rather focus our attention on promotion to the Championship because we know that we have the potential to do that in our first season.
BDSL: If you had to choose a new team to play on or a team you'd like to model Crusaders after who might that be?
CFC: Based on how we all played together in high school, I would say that I'd model ourselves like the Buffalo Bantu. They were an impressive team when I played in the Championship last season. They kept the ball well, had a solid defensive line, and some dangerous attackers with speed and finesse. They're success was obviously seen with their promotion, which is what I expect of the Crusaders this year.
BDSL: Is there anything you like to see the league do differently or change or add in?
CFC: From my experience in the BDSL, there wouldn't be anything that I would change because I felt as if the league is well run and there were no hiccups throughout the entire season. Hopefully that success will continue into this year.