Fairfield Ledger
https://fairfield-ia.villagesoup.com/p/1736618

Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Apr 20, 2018

Trojan boys’ soccer ready to prove they’re best in SEC

By Justin Webster | Apr 02, 2018
Photo by: JUSTIN WEBSTER/Ledger photo Trojan senior Chaysten Titus dribbles while being defended by junior TJ Twohill.

Although the Fairfield boys’ soccer team did not win the Southeast Conference last season, as their female counterparts did, Head Coach Felisto Guezimane is confident that he also has the best team in the conference headed into this spring season.

The Ledger caught up with Guezimane at practice during spring break to discuss the reasoning behind his confidence and what he thinks needs to change to improve the level of soccer being played in southeast Iowa.

 

How is the team looking? How are your numbers and are they where they need to be?

Guezimane: So far, it’s looking pretty good. This is the biggest team we’ve had in the programs’ history, I have 38 players. It’s good for the team because we are deep in almost every position which forces the players to fight harder for the starting positions and for varsity, which is excellent.

 

How are you on returning players versus newcomers?

Guezimane: Pretty much everybody came back and we have a lot of newcomers with some experience and they’ve been playing together for a long time now, so it’s a good addition for the team.

 

Do you find that most of the players have experience playing soccer by the time they get to you?

Guezimane: It’s a mix. Every year we get a few kids that have no soccer experience and just want to tryout and eventually they enjoy the game and stick around. This year we have a lot of kids with experience.

 

So you have not just athletes, but soccer athletes.

Guezimane: Yeah, we have a lot of soccer players this year.

 

What do you see as your strengths and weaknesses as you look up and down the roster?

Guezimane: Strength I would say we have a lot of midfielders and forwards. If we can solidify our defense, that would be great, but otherwise we’re pretty solid. The only thing I’m worried about, and I’m not even worried, is we need to integrate the new players into the system. That’s still a work-in-progress.

 

What is your biggest challenge with the season ahead?

Guezimane: Consistency. There’s some games, where on paper, we are the better team but sometimes we just aren’t ready to play and for some reason we don’t play well and we lose some games that we should be winning. Hopefully this time around we can be more consistent and win games that we are supposed to win. That will help us prepare for the postseason.

 

Where do you feel you guys stand in the conference?

Guezimane: I still believe that we are the better team in the conference. Mt. Pleasant had pretty good kids last year, so they will be a team to recognize, but I believe that my team is the best team in the conference. We have to prove it on the field though.

 

Does southeast Iowa have good soccer being played down here?

Guezimane: I’ll say it goes in cycles. We used to have some really good soccer and I would say it’s improving. Washington is getting better.

 

What would raise the level of play?

Guezimane: I think better coaching. There are teams with a lot of kids, but if our schools had better coaching, the quality of the soccer would be better. From what I’ve seen, the style of soccer in high school in the smaller schools is not the best.

 

Is there a need for more international coaches who’ve played the game?

Guezimane: Not necessarily international, but coaches with experience in soccer because I think some of the coaches maybe played a little bit in high school back when soccer wasn’t that popular. So, the style of soccer in the smaller high schools is not the best.

 

Where is your confidence level here super early in the season?

Guezimane: I’m pretty confident. I’m pretty confident because the quality of the players we have this year is very good. The only thing, like I said before, is to make sure those guys integrate as a team as quickly as they can because that will probably be the difference.

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