© Dave Mathieson - Amherst Daily News
Girls trying out last night for the Fundy Youth Soccer Under-16 girl’s competitive team gathered around the jacket a player will wear at the end of every game this spring and summer. The jacket will go to, not necessarily the best player, but to the player who puts in the best effort.
AMHERST - Tryouts have only started but competition for a spot on the Fundy Under-16 girl's soccer team is fierce.
Close to 25 girls are trying out for 18 spots on the roster.
Coach John Rossong will have Shawn George, the technical director for the Highland Soccer League, and senior women’s coach Curtis Michaelis make independent assessments of the players during weekend tryouts.
"I want it to be fair. There's a lot at stake," said Rossong. "One of the hardest things to do is to try to cut people and make a fair judgment, so they'll be able to help me."
Rossong has coached competitive girls soccer for seven years and said they are looking for girls who work hard.
"At this age what we're looking at is a players desire to be the first to the ball and to be game-ready all the time," said Rossong. "The team that has the most interest and is most hungry for the ball usually wins.
"Our philosophy will be to outwork the other team and be the first to the ball, and that's how we're going to define ourselves."
Sixteen-year-old Haley Spicer was at the tryout last night.
"Our goal as a team is to be the strongest team out there, and the fittest team out there," said Spicer. "We want to be the team that will dominate the league. That's what we're going for."
The girls have asked Rossong for more practices, so they can work on their game. He said they will practice up to five hours a week.
"That's almost unheard of at this age. It shows that they want to get strong, so I expect us to be competitive," he said.
Spicer said a lot of the girls at the tryouts have played soccer together for several years.
"Practicing more together provides good chemistry on the field, it allows us to talk and communicate better and play better strategically," said Spicer. "We need to learn how to find each other on the field and make better plays."
Girls trying out for the team are from Amherst, Springhill, Parrsboro, Oxford and from throughout the county.
Rossong said girls under the age of 16 are welcome to try out for the team.
They are practicing Friday from 5 to 7 p.m., and then on Saturday and Sunday they start tryouts at 12:15 p.m., with scrimmages beginning at 2:45 p.m.
For more information contact John Rossong at 660-5140.
More photos of the tryout can be seen on the slide show at www.cumberlandnewsnow.com