FC Edmonton's Focus Shifts To Season Opener After Successful Trip To Manchester

FC Edmonton heads to Jacksonville to take on Armada FC on April 2
Jamie Umbach (@JamieUmbach} | Mar 27, 2017

Preparation for FC Edmonton’s NASL season opener in Jacksonville on Sunday, April 2, hits high gear as the Eddies resume training following their return from a challenging and rewarding four-match preseason in Manchester, England.

The 13-day tour included friendlies against English sides Wigan Athletic Reserves, Burnley U-23s, Newcastle United U-23s, and Stoke City U-23s. It’s the second international preseason for FC Edmonton in two seasons after competing in Scotland last March.

“For us as football people, it’s a no brainer to come to the UK,” FC Edmonton head coach Colin Miller said. “We’ve had two great preseasons now in the United Kingdom and Tom and Dave Fath see the benefit in us coming overseas. The players’ attitudes and willingness to work were fantastic.”

The Eddies were given stern opposition for all four fixtures, and at some times more than expected. Burnley lined up the likes of Belgium international Steven Defour and striker Sam Vokes against FC Edmonton while Stoke City played seven first-team players, including the attacking duo of Scotland international Charlie Adam and Manchester City loanee Wilfried Bony.

“It was four games in a short period of time and there were some tired legs at the end of the final 90 minutes [against Stoke City],” Miller commented. “It’s been a great experience for our players to play against top opposition and attend three first-team games, which had its own benefits as well.”

FC Edmonton notched two wins, one draw, and a loss during its Manchester trip. Pulling together positive results this preseason ahead of its season opener in Jacksonville gives the club a boost to fitness and confidence while building bridges abroad with multiple well-run, storied sides like Stoke City and Newcastle United.

“We’ve been very well received [in the United Kingdom],” Miller said. "We’ve now played Newcastle twice in the past two years and it’s because of the type of football that we’ve played. I think it’s a real compliment to our club when you look at the opposition teams have provided.

“The guys have had a few days off and rightfully so, they did a terrific job in preseason from start to finish. We know when we kick off next it will be for three points in Jacksonville.”

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