The intensity had been extracted from the situation and Sooke’s VISL div-1 Celtic was not overly traumatized by an 8-0 defeat at the feet of Gorge FC last Friday night.
That’s not to say the group ever takes defeat lightly, but coach/striker Steve Scott hinted there was not a lot of (if any) wringing of hands and weeping going on following the road loss.
“When there’s nothing left to play for it’s pretty tough to do anything, right?” said Scott on Monday morning. He had a good point. The team had a couple of league games left on the schedule following an emotional Jackson Cup run in which it had come up big with a win over Nanaimo which Scott had labelled the team’s best ever.
It was followed by a disappointing and decisive setback versus Cowichan.
Sitting securely in the middle of the div-1 pack, there was no threat of being demoted to div-2 with a loss. In fact, Scott indicated the squad and Cowichan may just pass on the last game on the schedule. They could end up saving some gas money and some bruising along the way.
“We just pretty much went there and said, ‘Whatever, guys, we’re just going to go and have some fun,’ and that we did. That’s all it was.”
A fifth place finish in the 10-team first division is respectable, and there are high hopes for next season as young players Doug Armstrong, Mike McKay, Cam Fischer and possibly Daniel Bergerud will be trying out for the Victoria United team.
There’s a reasonably good chance that the Celtic lineup will be much the same next time around with the return of the four mentioned above, plus indications from striker Mike Moon and goalkeeper Blake Ridley that they will return. Scott said news of Ridley’s commitment is “huge, because I think Blake was probably our best player all year.”
Word from the injury-hampered forward Elton Clemence (always effective when in the line-up) is that a return to the team is “definitely” in his plans.
There’s a question mark with Arno Marchand who may decide to go back to school in Ontario.
“Maybe a couple of those young guys from the U21 team,” Scott included in the potential mix.
“I think we’ll probably be even younger next year,” he concluded, “which is good because you’ve got to keep the youth going. If you don’t have any young guys on your team you’ll just die.”