The Tampa Bay Rowdies began their 2012 preseason officially today with their first practice session at Shimberg Fields. The morning practice lasted just over two hours, and Head Coach Ricky Hill watched players train hard.
Eleven signed Rowdies players were in attendance along with 11 trialists. From the roster the team was missing defender J.P. Rodrigues, midfielder Stuart Campbell and forwards Matt Clare and Daniel Antoniuk. Antoniuk, Clare and Rodrigues will return to the team after the conclusion of their indoor soccer seasons, while Campbell is expected to join the team this weekend.
“We are still waiting on a few of our players who are currently playing in the indoor league,” said Hill. “I am trying to be sensible with the players in regards to the amount of work that we put onto them initially, and we do have a number of games that are coming up quite quickly and it is important that we don’t suffer any injuries through overwork at this moment in time.”
“We did a little bit of fitness to start with, which is good to get our legs back a little bit and it is the first preseason session so I think in a month we will be a lot better,” said goalkeeper Jeff Attinella. “For goalkeepers we just did a little bit of handling, trying to get the rust out and getting the legs moving a little bit. It is good to get out here with the guys again and touch the ball.”
The 2012 Rowdies Rush Preseason Tour gets underway this Saturday, March 3 at Noon with an intra-squad scrimmage as part of Red Bull Supercamp and hosted at Monroe Middle School in South Tampa.
“The game is an intra-squad scrimmage and we will just take it as another important practice,” said midfielder Keith Savage. “After a good week and a half when we have some college matches we will be sure to try to be better than we were last year, it is preseason and we are working hard.”
Fafa Picault sat out of full practice today due to a toe injury, which is on the mend.
For a look at the current roster, click here.
Here is a list of the trialists currently with the team (with hometown and college listed):
GK Will Dieterich - Tampa, FL, Newberry College
M Daniel Gray - Tacoma, WA, University of Washington
D Ryan Griffin - Brandon, FL, University of Tampa
D Jose Eduardo Herrera - Mexico City, Cruzazul
F/M Zach Hofstetter - Lakeland, FL, Florida Southern
M Andro Hrkac - Mostar, Bosnia, Saint Leo University
D Thurstan Johnson - St. Petersburg, FL, Saint Leo University
M/D Joey Lopez - Tampa, FL, Thomas University
M/D Dan O’Brien - Minneapolis, MN, Wisconsin-Green Bay
F Ogi Perucica - Belgarde, Serbia, University of South Florida
D Adam West - Gig Harbor, WA, University of Washington
D Eishun Yoshida - Saitama, Japan, Saint Leo University