For the Cape Breton University Capers men's soccer team, it's the start of a new season and a new era as Dean Morley takes the reins of the club for the first time as head coach. He replaced Robbie Chiasson, who stepped down in July after 11 years at the helm.
The men's side will open the AUS regular season Sunday when they host the Saint Mary's Huskies in a 3:15 p.m. start at the Cape Breton Health Recreation Complex turf on the CBU campus.
Morley took his players to Ingonish for a team bonding trip in preparation for the season.
"From there, we've had very high intensity practice sessions, a great team ethic and buy in to what we're trying to do," he said. "I think that commitment and desire as a team has us ready and prepared, and we're very excited to take the field on Sunday."
The Capers offence will be centered on AUS MVP Ian Greedy. The perennial all-star is Cape Breton's all-time leading scorer with 34 career goals.
Greedy will be complimented by the likes of veteran defender Zak Riley and midfielders Sandro Rajkovic and Andrej Rajic. Morley is also excited by the addition of attacking midfielder Alex Semenets to the roster. Semenets last played for the Toronto Lynx in the USL Premier Development League. There are eight Cape Breton players on the Capers, including returning keeper Ethan MacInnis.
The Capers men finished last season with a 5-4-4 record for fifth place in the standings. They reached the AUS semifinals, but lost out to the New Brunswick Varsity Reds, 1-0.
CBU last won the AUS championship in 2012 and are looking to get back on top in 2014.
"We want to be the most prepared, hardest working program and a very committed program," said Morley. "If we put in what's needed to be excellent on and off the field, we feel we'll get the results in the long run.