FC Edmonton are making major strides in globalizing their brand by announcing a major pre-season camp that will be held in Manchester, England. The Eddies will be in Manchester for 13 days and they will play four matches against professional teams in that period.
The Eddies will face off against the likes of Newcastle United U-23’s, Wigan Athletic reserves, as well English Premier League sides, Burnley U-23’s and Stoke U-23. This will mark four of the biggest teams the Eddies have ever faced in their short history.
“I believe this type of preseason will be invaluable for us,” FC Edmonton Head Coach Colin Miller said. “We’re very grateful for Tom and Dave Fath’s support. Without them, these sort of things are not possible. They also share in the vision of the club and the direction that we are moving and I think it’s an exciting time for the club.”
Last year FC Edmonton made their first overseas trip when they headed to Scotland to prepare for the 2016 North American Soccer League (NASL) season. The trip paid dividends as the Eddies had their best ever season, finishing third in the league and losing in the semi-finals against a strong Indy Eleven side. With a lot of new signings to the time this year –just like last year– the trip will allow the teammates to get to know each other and get the chemistry just right.
“Last year the trip to Scotland really helped me get to know my teammates,” FC Edmonton defender Pape Diakite said. “I was new last year, just like a lot of the guys this season and it helped me understand the habits of my teammates and especially my defensive partners. It got the point where we don’t have to talk on the field because we understand each others game. There is no doubt this years trip will benefit the new guys just like last year’s trip [to Scotland] helped me.”
The Eddies will be facing strong competition than they did last year in Scotland. Playing four high-profile clubs in England will allow the club to build stronger international connections which can be vital for future transactions while also growing the clubs brand to a much larger scale. Miller is hoping the stronger competition will push the Eddies over the line in the upcoming season.
“It’s about bonding, we are going to the UK to get the best quality opposition that we can,” Miller said. “We managed to achieve that thanks to Tom and Dave Fath for supporting us. We know the standard of opposition this time. With the greatest respect to the quality of opposition we had in Scotland, this should be against better quality players. You would think the quality would be better so the expectation is for everyone to take the work on board from pre-season and apply it on the trip then on the first game of the season in Jacksonville.”