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Wanderers head to Dominican Republic as preseason build up intensifies

Preseason training moves up a gear this coming week as the Wanderers head to the Dominican Republic to continue preparations for the Canadian Premier League kick-off.

The squad boards a plane to Punta Cana today.

Following the physical conditioning stage of training camp, coach Stephen Hart will be leading his squad into actual preseason matches in the Caribbean.

“This is the second phase of our training camp where we will be working on the dynamics of the team,” Hart said. “We’ll be learning about ourselves and how we approach our games.”

The Wanderers will be holding two training sessions per day during the trip as well as playing two matches that have been organized.

Stephen Hart will be leading his squad into two games in the Dominican Republic.
Stephen Hart will be leading his squad into two games in the Dominican Republic.

Hart’s squad will be taking on Dominican select team Inter RD, as well as Canadian Premier League rivals FC Edmonton.

“We have been experimenting with players in different positions to get them out of their comfort zones and get them working together. So far I am quite pleased with how they have responded,” Hart said.

All seven CPL teams will be in the Dominican Republic at the same time.

After training indoors at Soccer Nova Scotia, it’ll be another bonus for the players to be out in the warm weather and back on grass.

“It’s going to be great to get away together as a team and we’re looking forward to playing on grass,” said Alex De Carolis. “It’s a good chance to work on the chemistry of the team which is amazing and the guys are really getting along.”

Alex De Carolis sees the Dominican Republic tour as a chance to work on team chemistry.
Alex De Carolis sees the Dominican Republic tour as a chance for the players to build more of an understanding.

With the team’s first game now less than a month away on April 28 at Pacific FC in B.C., the players are getting anxious for the league’s big kick-off.

“I think we’re in the right spot as a team,” said veteran defender Chakib Hocine. “We know we will have two training sessions per day so it will be hard, but we’re getting fit and ready for the first game and that’s a great feeling.”

Getting games under their belt is what the players have been building to.

Zoom Langwa and Chakib Hocine want to see the players get in the competitive groove in the Dominican.
Zoom Langwa and Chakib Hocine want to see the players get in the competitive groove in the Dominican.

“We want to sharpen up the loose ends work on our tactics and what we need to do win. It will be good to see the level of Edmonton as a team we will be competing against,” said Zoom Langwa.

The Wanderers return from the Dominican on April 16 ready for the final preseason push before our big kick-off on April 28, on the road against Pacific FC.