–By Dylan Matthias
The St. FX X-Men have added a small but potentially solid group of recruits for the 2010 season.
Steven Rodenhiser (GK), Michael Tait (M), Graeme Spink (CB), John Troncoso (WM), Graeme Hodgkinson (DM), and Mark Harpur (D) are all joining the X-Men.
The recruiting class is experienced above all else, with Tait, Spink, and Harpur all having trialled at or worked with professional clubs or academies. Spink was even offered a contract at Dundee FC, but wanted to pursue a university education. Tait trialled at three Scottish clubs including Celtic.
The largely defensive recruiting class will help a St. FX team that lost on penalties to UPEI in AUS playoffs after finishing fifth in 2009. They are a young team with some deficiencies in the midfield, meaning most of these recruits will likely step in and play in their first season.
The recruiting also shows that head coach Graham Kennedy is looking to recruit to a tactical system. X play with a heavy midfield and focus on Czech striker Michal Marousek for scoring. The addition of winger Troncoso (a product of the excellent Calgary Foothills program) may give them some scoring support while Hodgkinson (also of Calgary Foothills), Harpur, Tait, and Spink will provide a combination of skill and depth in what is often a five-man midfield.
The odd recruit out may be goalkeeper Steven Rodenhiser of Bridgewater. He’ll have to show well in preseason to beat out Andrew MacDonald for the starting role.
While it is a small recruiting class, X already have some strong pieces. The recruits will at least provide depth as they adjust to AUS, but the best of them may be standout rookies, making X a tough team to predict and potentially dangerous in 2010.
–Dylan Matthias is the incoming sports editor at the Dalhousie Gazette. He runs Dal Soccer Live on the side to provide more in-depth coverage of AUS and ACAA soccer. He has been a Toronto FC fan since Danny Dichio scored the team’s first ever goal. It showed him the magic of soccer.