Monar­chs eye­ing an­other crown

The West­side Monar­chs are look­ing for­ward to men’s soc­cer fi­nal.

The Western Star - - FRONT PAGE - BY DAVE KEARSEY [email protected]­ern­star.com Twit­ter: WS_S­port­sDesk

Richard Wells has had his share of highs and lows with the West Side Monar­chs, but he’s find­ing it easy to for­get the past know­ing his team is in the hunt for a three-peat as Cor­ner Brook se­nior men’s soc­cer champs.

The black and gold will tan­gle with the Northridge Curl­ing Rangers for the play­off crown Satur­day 3 p.m. at Welling­ton Street Soc­cer Field.

The Rangers lost to the Monar­chs in the 2016 fi­nal, a mo­men­tous oc­ca­sion for the black and gold as they picked up the cham­pi­onship tro­phy for the first time in 20 years.

Wells joined the Monar­chs in 2002 and he be­lieves the fate of the team started to turn in an­other di­rec­tion after for­mer pro keeper Bruce Grobbe­laar suited up with the team for a short stint a few years ago.

Wells said the South-African born Grobbe­laar was suc­cess­ful in point­ing the team in the right di­rec­tion and the play­ers learned a lot from him be­ing one of the best English keep­ers of all time and a knowl­edge­able soc­cer mind.

“The win­ning men­tal­ity stemmed from his pres­ence,” he said. “What he brought to the field and you could tell ev­ery­body wanted to be part of it.”

A dif­fer­ent strat­egy has been em­ployed by the Rangers over the past few years and Wells said all hands be­lieve in one an­other and com­mu­ni­cate well on the field.

Be­ing on the same page is one thing, but Wells also likes how the win­ning ways has been a team ef­fort all the way. He said there is no one player in par­tic­u­lar do­ing more than the next and they’ve all come on board with the win­ning phi­los­o­phy in­stilled in the guys when Grob­blaar was wear­ing the black and gold.

“We re­al­ized we don’t want to chase the ball around the field,” he said. “We want to have pos­ses­sion and dic­tate the play of the game.”

The Rangers won its share of se­nior men’s soc­cer ti­tles over the years and his­tory has shown that the team has a knack for com­ing up big when it counts and Wells knows it won’t be an easy task knock­ing off the blue and white.

“They al­ways seem to find a way to over­come ad­ver­sity,” he said. “It’s go­ing to be a hard­fought bat­tle. They’ve got tenac­ity and heart, and I’m not sur­prised at all to see them in the fi­nal.”

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