April 23, 2015 League 1 Ontario Preview of Kingston Clippers Men's Team (from League 1 Ontario website)

Kingston Clippers - 2015 League1 Season Outlook
. Thu Apr 23 
Written By: Staff, League1  

Who are the Kingson Clippers?

Kingston Clippers is a club based in Kingston, Ontario, which has a long-standing grassroots presence 
in the region. Technical Director Chris Eveleigh joined the organization in 2013 (arriving from 
Exeter City F.C., U.K.), and established the League1 Ontario team in 2014 to provide a local pathway 
for elite players from grassroots to college, university, and semi-professional levels.

During the League1 Ontario 2014 season, the club played an open, direct attacking, and physically 
aggressive style that brought intense early season battles with TFC Academy, ANB Futbol, Windsor and 
Durham United, but the club suffered from extensive injuries to first-team players, and a lack of squad 
depth, and ultimately finished at the bottom of the League1 table.  

In preparation for the season ahead, the club has made sweeping changes. Christian Hoefler, the Queens 
University men's soccer head coach, has been brought in to run the 2015 team, and strategic partnerships 
have subsequently been forged with universities and colleges in the region (Queens, Royal Military 
College, St. Lawrence College), as well as senior men's teams in Kingston and neighbouring Ottawa, 
to both support the League1 team and develop depth in the squad. 

What they're saying:

““Any good team is going to make their home a fortress, and that will be our number one target 
to begin,” said Technical Director Chris Eveleigh. “Obviously we encountered injury problems after 
the cut-off signing date last year, so this year we've made sure we're more planned and prepared for 
that period after August 15.”

“Moving forward, one advantage we have now is increased support from the community, both in terms 
of local players and out-of-town players,” said head coach Christian Hoefler. “The biggest advantage 
I would say is that we actually have a roster of about 33 that we can pull players from now, and many 
of those players won't be leaving for post-Aug 15 OUA/ CIS/ NCAA fall camps.

“Stylistically, I'm inclined towards a 4-3-3 attacking approach,” said Hoefler. “But we will of course 
adjust as necessary for our opposition, and the situation within the squad – if we have full squad 
availability – as well as where we will be most dynamic for the particular contest.”

What did Kingston do in off-season?

Aside from bringing through a new head coach, and creating partnerships with local post-secondary 
institutions, the club has focused on developing a core of internal and regionally produced players 
through a winter training program.

Head coach Christian Hoefler also had the opportunity to indirectly develop the League1 team through 
his work with many of the players in the Queens University program. Further strategic partnerships 
and scouting in the region have added to the player pool.   

What they're saying:

“The relationship [with Queens, and other local colleges and universities] is growing, and is not just 
in terms of facilities that we will use, but obviously with players and coaching staff,” said Eveleigh. 
“This relationship benefits not just the League1 end of things, but the entire Clippers club. The obvious 
benefit of having a core of players coming in with three or four months together with Christian already 
under their belts is a big advantage for the League1 team – we shouldn't take long to get up to speed.”

“We're building a relationship here, but I think it is more a community relationship than specifically 
a Clippers-Queens relationship,” said Hoefler. “Indeed, the other post-secondary organizations in this 
community – St. Lawrence College, Royal Military College (RMC) – are also involved with strengthening 
this team.”

Key Kingston players?

After suffering a long list of injuries, Kingston struggled to keep key players on the pitch in 2014, 
and went through various phases of bringing through youth products, reserve players, and temporary signings 
from Eastern Ontario men's teams. 

For 2015, the club will focus on a tightly-knit core of young players, many of whom are also members 
of the Queens men's varsity team – in fact, Queens' players comprise over 60% of the squad. 

Other notable key additions have come from Kingston's defunct Canadian Soccer League franchise, Kingston 
F.C., including striker/ centre back Ryan McCurdy, right back Odaine Demar, and centre back Austin White, 
all of whom can offer significant previous leadership experience at the semi-pro and professional levels. 

What they're saying:

“A large number of our players would be Queens and RMC alumnus, as well as current varsity members,” 
said Hoefler.  “But we've also added a number of players that have played together in Ottawa, and provide 
experience and talent.”

“Additionally, we have good leadership and experience coming in, particularly on the defensive end, and 
will complement that foundation with a mix of young attacking talent. We should be flexible in style, and 
our trajectory is definitely more into a youthful, fluent attacking style.”

“A couple standouts of our young group would be: 

Andrew Martin, 20 years old, a strong, young local player that should be very dynamic for us. He is usually 
a number ten, but he has the intelligence to play a variety of roles. He's an unselfish player, who 
I think personifies the pride of club we have in the Clippers, as well as the general versatility of the 
players involved.

Andrew Whiteman, a 17 year old attacking full-back, is another strong new player for us, and Jordan Brooks, 
24 years of age, would be a strong #8 style central midfielder. 

All of these players are products of the Eastern Ontario region – Martin coming from the Clippers club, 
and Brooks from Ottawa South United.” 

Ideal outcome for Kingston in 2015 League1 Ontario season?

“In our second year we are looking to increase the number of local players that are getting a chance 
to graduate to at least training with the first team, and to that effect we have three new U17 graduates 
in there at the moment,” said Eveleigh. 

“Many of our first-team players are also coaching and mentoring younger teams in our club, so we can 
create continuity through the organization and an obvious pathway through to the higher ranks.”

“Our core belief is that we are playing for this club, this region, and this community,” added Hoefler. 

“We are really interested in players that are willing to give back to those entities, and to the sport 
as a whole in this region. For that reason, primarily, we have focused on local products, sometimes at the 
expense of a number of journeyman professionals that showed interest in the off-season. I would say the 
character of the team is humble, disciplined, and with a mentality that is very rooted in supporting the 
game in this region.” 

“We will obviously look to compete and win in every match, but will look to the players to mature and 
increasingly delegate to the opponent as we go forward through the season.”

back to 2015 League 1 Ontario Men's index