At the start of the Island Games, every CPL coach (except Bobby Smyrniotis, really) was asked a similar question: with a long offseason looming, just weeks after the end of a longer one, how can you make sure that your young players have a place to play football in the near future?

We have already seen it begin; some players who were unable to enter Canada due to border restrictions in time for the Island Games were loaned out (such as Nicholas Hamilton of York9 FC at Dundee FC in Scotland, or José Escalante of cavalry in Vida in Honduras).

It could take five or six months, or so, before the CPL season starts in 2021, which is a long time without football in a young player’s career – especially after nine months of pre-Games leave. the island. Fans across the league have started to wonder which players from their club could be sent out on loan around the world this winter, and teams are certainly exploring such options.

That said, some CPL coaches caution against high expectations; it’s not easy to find destinations for gamers at the moment, with the transfer market so unpredictable due to the uncertainty brought by COVID-19.

“It will be the hardest thing for these players,” former FC Edmonton coach Jeff Paulus told CanPL.ca.

“COVID is still around, so it’s going to be a challenge too – you have to go around COVID and flights and different countries, quarantines and the like. So at the moment it’s not an easy time, but all players in this league will be struggling to switch from today to March 1 and stay as technically sharp as needed.

Cavalry FC coach Tommy Wheeldon Jr. explained the problem for CanPL.ca, explaining that there really are three options for players this offseason.

Of course, there will be those who will stay at home, staying active by training and helping young players in the pipeline. Then there are training stays abroad – Wheeldon has revealed that two cavalry players, Dominick Zator and Nico Pasquotti, spent two weeks in Ross County and Real Mallorca, respectively, last year. This option can be difficult simply because of the quarantine rules and travel restrictions.

The third option is a suitable loan. It also poses a major challenge, and not just because it can be difficult to get players into certain countries right now.

“The market is saturated,” Wheeldon explained. “Even we now have got a bunch of calls from actors and agents who couldn’t get into this country or this country, so now the market is really driven by, there are more actors than there are. ‘opportunities.’

CPL clubs must therefore be careful. Many of them may need to prioritize which players will benefit the most from a loan – Wheeldon has hinted that someone like Sergio Camargo, a key Cavs forward, could be top of this list because he doesn’t ‘played a game and a half at The Island. Games.

“What we need to do is be a little patient with our approach,” Wheeldon said. “We have good contacts that we’ve been on the phone with, and we just need to play by ear. We can’t afford to have a number of promises that we can’t keep, so we have to make sure we have a Plan A, a Plan B, and a Plan C, and take it from there. “

This is, of course, a problem that every team faces. York9 seems to have taken precedence over the others with Hamilton’s loan to Dundee, having started the process even before leaving for Prince Edward Island, according to Angus McNab, team management consultant.

It will be more complicated for players who have played The Island Games, however, with a smaller window of time now to work with. Paulus detailed last week how FC Edmonton has been work with a club in Germany, using their Scouting resources and connections to make it easier.

“We just don’t have that luxury in our club that we have this person that it’s his job to get loans for the players at their club, to get training camps, tries,” said Paulus at CanPL.ca. “We don’t have that luxury, it’s often me trying to find 10 minutes of free time to try to make it happen. So what we’ve created is someone out there who can be that person for us, who can create those opportunities …

“We are creating our player profiles and have profiles to send, and I hope we have some positive news that will allow us to get them all to play.”

Certainly, the question of bringing the players onto the pitch this winter is a major concern of all the clubs in the CPL. It just won’t be easy.

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