Like a kid carefully building the foundation of his Lego house, Penticton Tim Horton’s Pinnacles under-21 men’s coach Tony Munoz has been doing the same with his soccer team.
On Wednesday, Munoz welcomed five new players to practice who are hoping to join the mix as the Pinnacles kick off its Pacific Coast Soccer League season on Saturday against Chilliwack FC at King’s Park at 4 p.m.
“Unfortunately, we haven’t had the numbers we were hoping for,” said Munoz. “We will have to try some of these guys and work them next week.”
Munoz is being patient to field the best team. With player numbers growing, he plans to get into the tactical side. Munoz feels positive about the direction because there is a strong nucleus of 20 to 21 year olds.
During the past two weeks Munoz has been working with his players to show them how the pros in Europe get ready. Thus far, Munoz sees his players adapting well and that they are enjoying what they are learning as they have shifted some training session from the pitch to the beach.
“Penticton will realize that we are playing a different type of game,” he said. “An exciting game and a game for the fans.”
Harry Holman, a defender, likes what Munoz has done and his positive attitude.
“He’s trying things,” said Holman, a third-year Pinnacle. “It’s all a learning curve for us but we’re enjoying it. It’s going to be a fun game to play and watch.”
Munoz has seen dedication from players as well as respect for him and his system. Munoz has also seen improvement .
“They are full of vinegar,” said Munoz. “They want to show me what they have.”
Holman likes the combination with veteran players. One is Neil MacDonald, who Munoz asked to join the team. Playing in the 35 and over league, MacDonald brings experience for the back end. MacDonald expects there to be some bumps, but sees eagerness. “It’s always good, you start fresh,” said MacDonald. “Whatever happened last year is history. With a new coach it’s exciting because there is a new system and we have new players.”