Light­ning in fore­cast for Forsyth

CBN soc­cer as­so­ci­a­tion hires first di­rec­tor of op­er­a­tions

The Compass - - OPINION - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER THE COM­PASS

Soc­cer, or foot­ball de­pend­ing on where you are in the world, is an in­ter­na­tional game played by peo­ple in ev­ery coun­try.

So, it made sense that when the Con­cep­tion Bay North Light­ning soc­cer club went look­ing for a di­rec­tor of soc­cer op­er­a­tions that it would choose an in­ter­na­tional rep­re­sen­ta­tive.

Gary Forsyth, orig­i­nally from Pais­ley, Scot­land, was that in­ter­na­tional fig­ure.

Forsyth, who has been in New­found­land since early 2010, was rec­om­mended for the po­si­tion by Me­mo­rial Univer­sity Sea­hawks men’s soc­cer head coach Scott Betts.

Betts had been in CBN run­ning a camp when Light­ning pres­i­dent Robert Tar­rant ap­proached him about com­ing on with the club as the di­rec­tor.

“Scott couldn’t do it, so he rec­om­mended me to Bob and it sort of just went from there,” said Forsyth.

Af­ter a meet­ing with Tar­rant, Forsyth agreed to come on board with the club.

The Con­cep­tion Bay South Strik­ers FC chal­lenge cup head coach had pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence with the po­si­tion as a di­rec­tor. Forsyth pre­vi­ously worked with the CBS Soc­cer As­so­ci­a­tion.

“I re­ally en­joyed my time there and I en­joy day-to-day soc­cer,” he said.

Com­ing to the Light­ning, Forsyth sees it as a “good fit” for him.

“The way Rob (Tar­rant) and Scott (Betts) spoke about the pro­gram out there, I see it as a great chal­lenge,” he said.

For Forsyth, the travel from St. John’s to CBN is a “lit­tle bit much”

Gary Forsyth is the new di­rec­tor of soc­cer op­er­a­tions with the CBN Light­ning.

but he sees at as “some­thing you have to do some­times.”

Tar­rant said Forsyth came with a high rec­om­men­da­tion from Betts.

“We were very im­pressed with Gary,” he said.

One as­pect of the game Tar­rant is look­ing for­ward to see­ing from Forsyth is a fo­cus on goal­tend­ing.

“A goal­tend­ing coach is some­thing we’ve never re­ally had be­fore,” he said.

Forsyth will be work­ing with the play­ers and coaches in the Light­ning sys­tem as well as de­vel­op­ing a long-term player de­vel­op­ment pro­gram.

“I’m go­ing to start small,” he said. “My fo­cus will be on player and coach de­vel­op­ment. I’m not go­ing to try and rein­vent the wheel.

“I just want to help ed­u­cate the coaches and hope­fully, that will push down to the play­ers.”

First im­pres­sions

Forsyth’s first meet­ing with the play­ers in his new po­si­tion hap­pened Satur­day, April 21 when the Light­ning held its first player de­vel­op­ment camp in North River.

He was sur­prised with what he found on the All Hol­lows’ pitch.

“There is a lot of tal­ent out here,” said Forsyth.

Tar­rant made note of how his new tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor was with the play­ers.

“He was fan­tas­tic with the kids,” he said. “We’re very pleased.”

Tar­rant praised Forsyth for keep­ing the play­ers “on task” and com­mu­ni­cated what he was do­ing on the field with the par­ents on the side­lines.

“He has a lot of knowl­edge and his un­der­stand­ing of the game will be valu­able,” he said.

Kyle Cronin is one of a hand­ful of coaches who will be work­ing closely with Forsyth over the sum­mer.

He said he could see Forsyth was re­ally good with the Light­ning ath­letes.

“He helped us out with our soc­cer skills and our skills as coaches,” said Cronin.

Forsyth’s sys­tem

De­scrib­ing his coach­ing style, Forsyth said he is “very laid back and re­laxed.”

With that

said, he “de­mands work ethic.”

“I think that is the only thing you can re­ally de­mand,” said Forsyth.

One of his goals is to make the play­ers feel re­laxed.

Case in point, dur­ing the first player de­vel­op­ment camp, one fe­male ath­lete came onto the field wear­ing the green shorts of the hated Glas­gow Celtic foot­ball club. Forsyth’s pre­ferred team is the Glas­gow Rangers foot­ball club.

The Rangers and Celtic en­joy one of the more heated ri­val­ries in sports, ac­cord­ing to the coach.

“It was sur­pris­ing, more than any­thing, to see a girl sit­ting there wear­ing Glas­gow Celtic shorts in North River, Con­cep­tion Bay North. It caught me off guard,” said Forsyth.

He chided the bud­ding soc­cer hopeful about her choice in soc­cer clubs be­fore laugh­ing it off.

While Forsyth be­lieves in hav­ing the play­ers feel re­laxed, he said that play­ers have to be pre­pared to go hard.

“When it is time to work, we work,” he said.

Tar­rant said the Light­ning are lucky to have Forsyth, cit­ing only a hand­ful of clubs across the prov­ince have some­one in a sim­i­lar po­si­tion.

“It’s a gam­ble for us, but we are very pleased,” he said.

nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Pho­tos by Ni­cholas Mercer/the Com­pass

CBN Light­ning soc­cer coaches Aaron Mercer (left) and April Yet­man (right) watch new Light­ning di­rec­tor of soc­cer op­er­a­tions Gary Forsyth in­struct young ath­letes at a player de­vel­op­ment camp in North River on April 21.

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