Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Morris Prokop

ADDRESSING THE TROOPS – Head Coach Sean Fleming instructs his Canada Summer Games boys team during halftime of their game against the Yukon Selects.

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Photo by Morris Prokop

USING HIS HEAD – Kaelen Lewis of the Yukon Canada Summer Games Team heads the ball while Cody Adams looks on.

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Photo by Morris Prokop

STELLAR SAVE – Canada Games Team goalkeeper Callum Weir makes a great save in the dying minutes of the game.

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Photo by Morris Prokop

PAINFUL PUNT – Yukon Selects’ Skyler Bryant kicks the ball towards Zach Saplywy. The Canada Games Team prevailed in the tight contest despite a late push from the Selects.

Canada Summer Games Team downs Selects in tight tussle

The Canada Summer Games boy’s team downed the Yukon Selects men’s team 1- 0 in a tight match that went down to the wire Thursday night at the F.H. Collins soccer turf in Whitehorse.

By Morris Prokop on July 25, 2022

The Canada Summer Games boy’s team downed the Yukon Selects men’s team 1- 0 in a tight match that went down to the wire Thursday night at the F.H. Collins soccer turf in Whitehorse.

The game was part of a camp for the Canada Games boy’s team that started Jul. 17 and went until this past Sunday.

The team consists of U19 boys.

Ben Kishchuk scored the game’s lone goal on a penalty kick.

Canada Games boy’s goalkeeper Callum Weir was forced to make multiple saves in the dying minutes of the game.

Weir thought the game was pretty good.

“Started a bit weak but we worked into it so we just got to keep going ... good preparation here in this camp and we’ll put our team together and work for Canada Summer Games and – it’s a couple weeks away, but coming along nicely and we’re looking to make history again here, so it’ll be a fun one, for sure.”

Weir admitted it was kind of tense at the end of the game as the Selects pressed for the equalizer.

“A little bit, yeah. It’s fun. I grew up with the other goalkeeper, so it’s always good fun and games and I’ve known some of the boys for a while so it’s a lot of fun.

“Full trust in the boys. A little bit of hassling with the ref ... but it works and (we’ll) take the three points.”

After Thursday’s game, Canada Summer Games boy’s team’s Head Coach Sean Fleming thought the game was “very good.”

“The men, I give all credit to. They really come out and they play so hard and they make it difficult for the boys and it’s not easy and I really appreciate the commitment they’ve given us. Not just tonight but throughout the whole outdoor season. They come out committed and playing with them has really helped the boys prepare for the Games.”

Fleming said the camp has been “really good. We started last Sunday. The boys and the leadership group have really taken it upon themselves to make sure they have the right attitudes and everything. We’ve been training three times this week at 6 a.m. Everybody’s been here on time and the training’s just been fantastic.

“It’s a tiring week but we’re really smart how we’re doing it because of course we want to be peaking in a few weeks, not now, so we’ve got to be careful but the boys’ attitudes have been great, training’s been great and again, these two games against the men have been really good for us. They give us different looks and things to look at, so it’s been really good.”

Fleming added “I just think this is a real credit to a lot of the coaches here. I feel honoured and privileged to be given the opportunity to work with the players but there’s people like Jake Hanson, Ash Jordan, Victor Lavendaros – a lot of these coaches have worked with these players for many years and the kids have done a few trips – I’ve travelled with them and I’ve travelled with a lot of teams and these kids deserve a lot of credit. They represent themselves, they represent the territory well and it’s really been a pleasure to be part of this process.”

Fleming also gave his take on how the team is looking leading up to the Games.

“You never know when you come to these types of things – the tournaments – but what I’ve asked the players to do is make sure they leave everything that they’ve done, that they can do in the preparation.

“It’s all the little things off the field that they have to do. Their lifestyle, nutrition and all that but also it’s just – the training, the attitudes and everything have been fantastic so up to this point, in honesty, they’ve been doing everything they can to be as prepared as well as they can so when we do these types of tournaments, these Games, it’s really about their performance.

“And I certainly hope that they show themselves, because they do have a chance to have great performances and hopefully the results will follow but of course in football, in sports, sometimes you get the right way and sometimes you don’t but truly, I hope for the boys that they really come out and perform just a lot like they have this week and they’ll represent themselves well.”

The two teams tussled again Saturday, with the boys team winning 4-0.

According to Fleming, who lives in Edmonton, the next few weeks will consist of final preps for the team leading up to the Niagara 2022 Games, which begin Aug. 6.

“The coaches, Ash Jordan, Jake Hanson and Sean Macdonald, will work with them after I leave on Sunday ... so we’ll do some team stuff that way too in-between but it will just be fine-tuning and a little bit of tweaking. That’s what we’ll do.”

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