Sometimes coaches see rookies as short-term burdens that need to be given lighter loads as they get up to speed, inevitably slowing everyone else down.
But that isn’t the case with the Algonquin Thunder women’s soccer team.
After a successful start to the season, the team plans on capitalizing on the fact that they have 13 new rookies.
Head coach Dom Oliveri says he strongly believes in his new players.
“This year we have 13 very talented rookies that have joined the program, all of whom come with some great playing experience,” said Oliveri. “As a coaching staff, we are excited by the group of players we have been able to attract to Algonquin College.”
He says that he feels extremely pleased with the overall makeup of their team.
“I really don’t think there are any disadvantages in having 13 rookies on the team, there are only advantages,” said Oliveri. “The rookies bring a certain energy to the team every day which has helped them accept the day-to-day challenges that come with playing for a nationally ranked program.”
As new recruits often face knowledge or skill gaps, they are alert, move fast and work smart because they want to prove themselves.
“As a rookie, the main thing you want to do is make your coaches and teammates proud,” said Michelle Wilson, a new player from Kemptville. “You want to earn your stripes.”
One of two captains, Kandyce Whitehead, says that the season is off to a good start with the help of the new players.
“Although a lot of the players are rookies, were still managing to play in sync,” said Whitehead. “We just have to keep that momentum going.”
She also said that the connection they share on the field is thanks to how they relate as a team.
“The main difference from last year is the chemistry that we share off the field,” said Whitehead. “We carry that over onto the field and that shows.”
A new player, Allison Clayton, agrees with her captain.
“I think that having a lot of rookies makes it easier to get to know each other,” said Clayton. “We’re all living through the same experiences for the first time together.”
Just like her coach, Jenna King, is looking forward to the future success of the team.
“I’m just really looking forward to winning,” said King.