Cav­alry FC signs four young lo­cal tal­ents

Calgary Herald - - SPORTS -

There’s now a real home­grown feel to Cav­alry FC as it gets set for the Cana­dian Pre­mier League’s in­au­gu­ral sea­son.

Cal­gar­i­ans Marco Car­ducci, Chris Ser­ban, Do­minick Za­tor and Eli­jah Adekugbe were all an­nounced as sign­ings by the soc­cer squad Wednes­day, and all four young tal­ents will be es­sen­tial to­wards the iden­tity of the club and its cul­ture as it ap­proaches the open­ing sea­son in April.

“These four sign­ings rep­re­sent our re­cruit­ment strat­egy whereby we are iden­ti­fy­ing lo­cal tal­ent first then na­tional and in­ter­na­tional as we build out our squad,” said Cav­alry FC head coach/GM Tommy Wheel­don Jr. “When cre­at­ing a team from scratch, it is highly im­por­tant to have peo­ple in the trenches with you that you trust and believe in.

“These four play­ers, grew up here in Cal­gary and are proud to be amongst the first ever play­ers signed in the his­tory of Cav­alry FC and who are hun­gry to fight for this City and write the his­tory we are go­ing to cre­ate here at Spruce Mead­ows.”

From his es­tab­lish­ment through McKen­zie United com­mu­nity soc­cer and Cal­gary Vil­lains pro­gram, Ca­ducci left home as a 14-year old to pur­sue his dreams of play­ing pro­fes­sional soc­cer later land­ing on the Van­cou­ver White­caps ros­ter.

“Marco is a highly tal­ented goal­keeper and one who is per­fect for the style of play we are look­ing to de­velop with the Cav­alry,” Wheel­don Jr. said. “His fu­ture is still wait­ing to be writ­ten, and we want to be a part of his jour­ney, as he has made his in­ten­tions clear that he wants to com­plete his jour­ney and play for the full Canada Na­tional team, hav­ing rep­re­sented them at (un­der-)17, U-20 and U-23 lev­els. Aside from his tal­ent, Marco is a great am­bas­sador for our club and this com­mu­nity.”

Also ris­ing through the Cal­gary Vil­lains Club, Ser­ban left home at 16 af­ter a brief spell with Cal­gary Chi­nooks to pur­sue his pro­fes­sional as­pi­ra­tions with the White­caps. While on the coast, Chris rep­re­sented the U Sports’ UBC Thun­der­birds as he com­bined his stud­ies with play­ing on the White­caps 2 team.

“Chris is a highly rated at­tack­ing full­back that has rep­re­sented Canada at U-20 and U-23 lev­els,” Wheel­don Jr. said. “He is hon­est, hard work­ing and hum­ble off the pitch but packs a tena­cious punch and plays on the front foot when on the pitch. He suits how we want to play as a team, along with the type of char­ac­ter we want rep­re­sent­ing the Cav­alry crest.”

Za­tor de­vel­oped from ages 11-18 in Cal­gary Foothills Soc­cer Club. He cap­tained the Cal­gary Di­nos men’s soc­cer team whilst com­bin­ing his sum­mer sea­sons with the Foothills PDL team.

“Do­minick is a mod­ern cen­tre back that is quick and ath­letic on the ground, good in 1v1 duals and very com­fort­able with bring­ing the ball out of the back,” said Wheel­don Jr. “He is also a great ex­am­ple of stay­ing the course and play­ing the long game in that he was a late bloomer that was never se­lected for any provin­cial or na­tional youth team pro­grams but con­cen­trated on his club soc­cer and school. It’s his in­tel­li­gence that makes him the player we want in our club as he is very cere­bral and cal­cu­lated in his de­ci­sion mak­ing.”

Born in Manch­ester, Eng­land, Eli­jah Adekugbe moved to Cal­gary as an eight year old and be­gan his devel­op­ment at age nine with Foothills un­til 18 years of age. His univer­sity years were spent with the Trin­ity West­ern Spar­tans on a soc­cer schol­ar­ship, whilst re­turn­ing to Cal­gary dur­ing the sum­mer months to play for Foothills FC in the PDL.

“Eli­jah is what this league is all about, giv­ing young Cana­di­ans a chance,” said Wheel­don Jr.

“He is some­one I have had the plea­sure of work­ing with for over 10 years now, and I’ve watched him grow as a player and a per­son. He is a highly tech­ni­cal mid­fielder that likes to keep his team in pos­ses­sion, al­most like a point-guard would in bas­ket­ball. He’s a hard­work­ing per­son and a stu­dious player that just needs a plat­form to grow.”

Chris is a highly rated at­tack­ing full­back that has rep­re­sented Canada at U-20 and U-23 lev­els.

Tommy Wheel­don Jr

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