FC Edmonton begins training camp for 2021 CPL season
Canadian Premier League

Another CPL club has started training ahead of the 2021 season.

FC Edmonton announced Monday that it had begun pre-season preparations in the Albertan capital “adhering to strict return to training protocols” in place from CPL officials and Alberta Health, the province’s health authority. The Eddies kicked off training at the Edmonton Soccer Dome and are expected to move to Clarke Stadium, the club’s home stadium, in the coming weeks.

“We are carefully following approved protocols to work our way back to full training,” said FC Edmonton coach Alan Koch in a statement. “This phased stringent approach will allow us to get working with the team in preparation for the season.”

Koch continued: “We live in a unique time and we have had to adjust our training environment, but we are grateful for the opportunity to be on the pitch to work with our players. We have a lot of work ahead, but we will continue to maximize every day at our disposal.”

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A total of 21 players are currently in FCE training camp, including ten returnees from the club’s 2020 campaign which saw a Jeff Paulus-led side finish last at the Island Games with an 0-1-6 record. Striker Easton Ongaro led the club with three goals on Prince Edward Island.

“Given this past year we’ve all been through, it has been great to be able to get back into training and start preparing for the 2021 season,” Ongaro said. “The team has really started to come together over the past couple of months as we build towards an especially important season for the club.

“We have developed a fantastic training environment and the mentality amongst players has been excellent. We’re all looking forward to competing and giving the FCE fans something to get excited about.”

Two other CPL clubs have returned to training: HFX Wanderers FC and Atlético Ottawa. Halifax began last week, while Ottawa is based in Spain with the club’s parent organization, Atlético de Madrid.