Rebels men have new game plan
Stefanie Lasuik, SPORTS & LIFESTYLE EDITOR
Red River College’s men’s soccer team has a new coach with a new plan: attack and score.
“The style is a reflection of me, and my personality isn’t one to sit back,” said Yiannis Tsalatsidis, the new Rebels’ head coach.
Tsalatsidis, a RRC alumni of 2010, took the team’s reins this year after getting involved with programs that prepare players for professional and national teams. Tsalatsidis works with the province’s top 13-18 year-olds. He also sits as the assistant technical director of the St. Charles Soccer Association.
His goal with the Rebels is for the team to be persistent and play with pride.
He wants the squad to personify what it means to be a Rebel, he said.
The new coach will take it one practice at a time. He’s moulding a new offence, which the players are already buying into and excited about.
“From the first day to now, we can already see a big difference. We’re excited,” said midfielder Anderson Pereira.
Pereira will be one of the team’sleaders this year. He’s looking to improve upon a disappointing fifth place finish in 2015. The team missed the playoffs after going 4-4-2 in regular season play.
Wins and losses aside, Tsalatsidis has another goal for the team this season. He wants to give them the type of college sport atmosphere he missed out on when he was a student.
RRC didn’t have the soccer program when Tsalatsidis attended, and now that it does, Tsalatsidis hopes students and staff will come to games and support their team.
“I’m challenging the school to get behind the team… We will provide an exciting brand of soccer that they can get behind and be proud of,” he said.
Tsalatsidis hopes the team will peak at the right time so they can achieve something special, he said.
“I guess you can say we have the cake, it’s just laying that final layer of icing before we can get there,” he said.
While the team’s play isn’t quite yet at the championship level, their mental game is. Tsalatsidis has seen his men display the attitude and spirit that could help them challenge for the coveted MCAC championship banner.
The Rebels’ first game is Sept. 11 at 3:45 p.m., when they’ll take on Canadian Mennonite University at the Ralph Cantafio Soccer Complex. Two days later, they’ll see their first home action of the year against Providence at 6 p.m. The Rebels’ games take place on Norm Konowalchuk field behind Notre Dame campus.
For a complete schedule, visit blogs.rrc.ca/rebels/sports/mens-soccer/. For updates on the Rebels’ season, follow the Rebels on Twitter @RRCRebels or Tsalatsidis @Yiannis_Tsalay.