While it hasn't been officially confirmed by the club, it has been mentioned that Calgary Foothills will be playing at Glenmore Athletic Park for the 2016 season. We decided to make a visit to our new home. Looks pretty nice! Some shots of our walk around the park:
We have a feeling the following warning will be apply to Calgary Foothills games this year. Bring on the beer tent!
Much to our surprise, there are actual running washrooms close to the main stand. Much more pleasant than port-a-potties:
And a photo of the parking situation at Glenmore Athletic Park. Pretty equivalent to Shouldice.
Calgary Foothills held an inter-squad friendly yesterday at Hellard Field, and it gave us a good opportunity to wander around the pitch and check out potential places to congregate during matches. Snapped a few photos.
The following is a view behind the goal on the SE side, underneath the scoreboard at Hellard. This view is taken from the top of the embankment:
The following is a view from the embankment facing the main stands at Hellard:
And the following is a view from the first row of seats with the actual seats (above the bleachers) at Hellard. Can't imagine we will be located here but it's good to see another angle:
So, not factoring in where the beer gardens will be, where is your preferred place to watch the game?
Calgary Foothills FC kicked off their 2015 pre-season by playing a combination of FC Edmonton first team players and academy players. And, it's the pre-season for The Foot Soldiers as well, so what better time to get into match fitness by checking it out.
With only 5 days notice, we were only able to get 2 people out to the game, but it gave us an opportunity to check out our pre-game bar, test the pre-game march, and get familiarized with the team. Here's what we learned:
1. Pazzer's is a small bar that should hold us well to start. Beer is relatively cheap ($5.50 a pint). Food is cheap ($10-12 an entree). Lots of spots for scarves
2. The march from Pazzer's to Hellard is about 5 minutes. Piece of cake
3. When the weather is cold, Shouldice's metal bleachers do not feel great to sit on after 2 hours.
As for the game, we managed to find a gentleman with a drum, the Foothills '03 coach (hope we got that right) and his son and sat along with them. Predictably, we had our first encounter with a lady who did not want to hear the drums, but she was at least a good sport about it.
Regarding Foothills themselves, the game was relatively level during the first half but the Eddies really ran Foothills ragged through the second half. Good test for the club, and it looks like Tommy Wheeldon has some good feedback to provide for the next game!
So, the first meeting has come and gone. I think we can safely say that it was a success, and that we are all genuinely excited for what is to come in 2015. 6 Foot Soldiers were there, as well as some of the folks from the club to gather as well as provide input.
Some notes from the meeting:
We will set up a second meeting at Pazzer's before the season starts, and this time on a weekend. The meeting will allow us to scope out the bar and maybe discuss our intentions with the folks there, and hopefully drive a wider audience!
Being that tonight was a lovely 15 degree spring evening, went to go check out Hellard Field quickly. As there was construction going on around Hellard Field at present (for development of change rooms and a plaza), it was hard to get great shots. However, we did manage to sneak up to the main grandstand at Hellard and take a couple quick snaps of the pitch from the front row.
So, here are some shots looking Southeast, and Northwest, respectively.
Is this a good spot for the Foot Soldiers to stand? I guess we shall find out!
Our first meeting is quickly approaching. The table at Fiddler's Courtyard pub has been booked for 7 pm, for 10 people, and is under the name "Sean".
We have a scarf concept provided to us and can discuss that, plus, some work has been done on a more sophisticated logo.
Also, it's wing night so wings and beer are always just a good time! Hope to see the table packed!
With our forums now up and running, there's been some great discussion about how we want to go forward. We really want to hit the ground running for the home opener on May 17 against Puget Sound. Discussions are already up on potential merchandise, chants, bagpipes, and banners.
There's even potential for a pub sponsor!
How many people can we get with us for the first game? 10? 25? 50? Who knows, but regardless of the number we're incredibly excited to get this show under way.
Well, it'll be hard for a supporters group to maintain momentum without meeting before the season starts. So, here are the details on our first meetup:
When: March 30 at 7 pm
Where: Fiddler's Courtyard Pub, 723 Edmonton Trail NE
Agenda: Deciding who we want to be as a group. This means discussing a charter, leadership, potential dues, chants, music, banners, etc.
Fiddler's Courtyard has their wing nights on Mondays, so we will most likely need to book a table the weekend before. If you're interested in joining, just send us a tweet at @footsoldierssg, and we'll make sure there is room for you at the table.
Friday night, Calgary Foothills SC held a press conference, and meeting with supporters, to discuss their upcoming plans for the 2015 season. Included were discussions about the upcoming season, and the announcements of a W-League team to begin play in 2016, and a new home for the club currently under application for development.
Included in the presentation was a clip of local kids chanting "LET'S GO FOOTHILLS!", and these kids were not only mentioned as potential future players, but future Foot Soldiers. While the Foot Soldiers had been bandied about since early 2014, this was really the first official mention of the group from the club.
And so, you could say, this way the day that the Foot Soldiers were born.
We're not going to lie, building a supporters group from scratch appears much harder now that it is a real task. Creating a Twitter account and getting followers is the easy part. Getting those followers to show up to games, sing, chant, yell and become a force on the Calgary sports scene seems like a monumental task, At least from this vantage point.
But we're up for the challenge.
Now the only question is, are YOU?