One of the great things about life is that you never know what to expect, according to Pacific FC’s new head coach Pa-Modou Kah.
If it weren’t for the COVID-19 pandemic, the Island’s Canadian Premier League (CPL) team based out of Langford would have played three games already. Westhills Stadium would have seen thousands in the stands and the soccer season would be in full swing. The opening day double-header was set to feature a home game between Pacific FC and FC Edmonton on April 11.
“Obviously we all want life to be normal but due to the circumstances we have to see how we can still keep the boys engaged and ready for the season eventually,” Kah said. “It’s a challenge that makes us tap into our creative mind on things we can do.”
Right now, Kah said the team is waiting to hear from the Canadian Premier League on protocol for training. The team members are working individually at home and over Zoom calls but Kah said they’re waiting to hear how they can “get further on.”
About one month ago, CPL commissioner David Clanachan released a statement postponing the start of the 2020 season.
“At the moment, we are working through different scenarios [regarding] when we might be able to start up again,” Clanachan said in a statement on the CPL website. “The reality is, we’re dealing with this literally in real time.”
Physical training at home, team challenges, group video calls and watching past game footage are all part of Pacific FC’s training regimen at the moment. Kah said he’s trying to get players engaged and keep them fresh while learning on a different platform.
“They’re good boys,” Kah said. “They’re open to learning and trying things we put out for them … they’ve been very good in all the things we’ve asked them to do.”
As a coach, Kah’s motives are not only to put together a winning team, but to develop Pacific FC’s players. He hopes the league will be up and running as soon as its safe but noted the final decision rests with the CPL and health ministries.
In the meantime, Kah said he thinks the COVID-19 pandemic has helped teach some of the younger players about life and that many things are unexpected.
“It teaches them what else they can do as young players with new life experiences,” Kah said. “They expand their mind, learn new things and are being creative and so far they’ve been tremendous.”