Kingston FC looks forward

Local pro soccer franchise keeps coach, promises progression in second season

Seven months ago, Colm Muldoon took over a team in turmoil.

Once the Canadian Soccer League (CSL) kicks off again in April, Muldoon promises it’ll be “chalk and cheese” for Kingston FC, compared to 2012.

Kingston’s only professional sports team was forced to regroup after finishing 14th in the 16-team CSL in its inaugural season.

Several new players will join a relatively new coach in Muldoon, who replaced last year’s bench boss Jimmy Hamrouni in mid-July.

“I came in last year to a group of players that was just basically pulled together a week before the season,” Muldoon said, who’s already begun informal training sessions at Queen’s Physical Education Centre (PEC) every Sunday.

“Coaching is a continuous process. It comes with time, it comes with buy-in from the players, and it doesn’t happen overnight.”

Open try-outs are being held March 18-20 on Queen’s West Campus and Tindall turf fields, but club President Joe Scanlon suggested to hopefuls in a press release that “it won’t be easy.”

“Basically we’re going to give the opportunity, but we’re recruiting top-level players and that opens up everybody’s eyes,” Muldoon said.

Some current and former Gaels are expected to be signed and re-signed, with new recruits flocking in from Europe and South America.

Muldoon was also an import: he’s an Ireland native who currently resides in Belleville.

He coached with the New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer, before obtaining a Canadian work permit.

Muldoon’s here to stay, and Kingston FC’s the newest step in his blossoming coaching career.

“I’m going to ask my players to recognize the soccer situation in front of them, and play an open brand of football that would be attractive to the eye and enjoyable to play in,” Muldoon said.

Kingston FC Chairman Lorne Abugov is also heavily involved in the off-season revamp.

With a new roster bolstered by a handful of international players, Abugov aims for a top-eight — possibly top-four — finish in 2013.

“We’re going to be twice as good on the field as we were last year, and our off-field operations will be twice as good as they were last season,” Abugov said.

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