Ex-Als coach Trest­man re­turns to Mon­treal

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - KELSEY PAT­TER­SON

MON­TREAL — The Mon­treal Alou­ettes will rec­og­nize sev­eral fa­mil­iar faces when they size up their next op­po­nents, in­clud­ing former head coach Marc Trest­man.

The Alou­ettes play host to Trest­man and the Toronto Arg­onauts at Per­ci­val Mol­son Sta­dium on Friday. It’s the first time Trest­man re­turns to Mon­treal as a head coach in nearly five years.

“Trest­man is a per­son and coach who will al­ways have an im­por­tant place in my life,” said centre Luc Brodeur-Jour­dain, who won two Grey Cups un­der Trest­man in 2009 and 2010. “We’ve lived big mo­ments to­gether. We con­sider each other part of the same fam­ily, and that will al­ways stay that way. Our names are both on the Grey Cup to­gether, and that’s for eter­nity. We’re linked for­ever.”

Brodeur-Jour­dain is one of seven cur­rent play­ers who were on the ros­ter when Trest­man coached his fi­nal game as an Alou­ette on Oct. 28, 2012. The other six are John Bow­man, Martin Bedard, Chip Cox, Kris­tian Matte, Daryl Townsend and Kyries He­bert.

“It’s def­i­nitely go­ing to be dif­fer­ent,” ad­mit­ted He­bert. “It will feel a lit­tle weird. But at the end of the day, we have a job to do. We’re not paid to play foot­ball, we’re paid to win games. They’re an East Di­vi­sion ri­val and they’re in our way.”

Trest­man com­piled a 59-31 record in five sea­sons with the Alou­ettes from 2008-12. The 61year-old was named the Cana­dian Foot­ball League’s coach of the year in ’09. He is the only Alou­ettes coach to win back-to-back Grey Cups. Trest­man and the Als parted ways when the Min­nesota na­tive was of­fered a head-coach­ing job with the Chicago Bears.

“Mon­treal will al­ways be special and coach­ing there will al­ways be special,” Trest­man told the Arg­onauts web­site this week. “But once you get off the train and you go to work, you’re work­ing un­til you leave. It’s never re­ally been part of my makeup to get caught up in that. “We’re go­ing on a busi­ness trip.” Trest­man won’t be the only one re­turn­ing to the city he once called home. Jim Popp, Mon­treal’s former gen­eral man­ager and a mem­ber of the Alou­ettes or­ga­ni­za­tion for 21 years, is now Toronto’s GM.

On the field, the Arg­onauts have three starters who were on Mon­treal’s ros­ter last sea­son: vet­eran slot­back S.J. Green (traded to Toronto for a sixth-round draft pick), line­backer Bear Woods (re­leased by Mon­treal in the off-sea­son) and de­fen­sive line­man Jeff Fin­ley (signed by Toronto as a free agent in the off­sea­son).

“It’s go­ing to be a dif­fer­ent kind of at­mos­phere,” said run­ning back Tyrell Sut­ton. “I’ve never gone up against Bear in a real-life sit­u­a­tion. It should be a good one. I’m not go­ing to poke the bear.”

Added Brodeur-Jour­dain: “Ob­vi­ously be­fore and af­ter the game, there will be some strong emo­tions. But when the game starts, as soon as I get on the pitch, I’m fac­ing the Toronto Arg­onauts. It’s a team I don’t like very much and it’s a game I want to win.”

The Arg­onauts are first in the East with a 3-4 record. The Alou­ettes are right be­hind them at 2-4. Both teams have lost two games in a row. They play each other twice in the next eight days in a home­and-away se­ries that could have ma­jor im­pli­ca­tions on the sea­son stand­ings.

Mon­treal also plays Toronto a third and fi­nal time on Sept. 23.

“This month is cru­cial,” said re­ceiver Nik Lewis.

“To be one game out of first place and to play them three times is so cru­cial.”

Marc Trest­man now coaches the Ar­gos.

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