Last Word On Soccer had the chance to interview Sean Clarke from Foot Soldiers Supporter Group (Cavalry FC) about the upcoming CPL season. We thank him for his time and candor. If interested, check our interviews with Lake Side Buoys (Pacific FC) and Barton Battalion (Forge FC) supporters’ groups.
MK: Can you tell our readers a brief history of how you first came to be involved with Foot Soldiers? Were you a supporter of another team in a different league beforehand?
SC: When Calgary Foothills announced they would be holding an exhibition season in 2014, a group of posters on the Voyageurs forums tried to organize a supporters section for their exhibition season, and called themselves the Foot Soldiers, which was a play on the Foothills name. I never attended those games but was interested in joining a group once Foothills began play in 2015.
A few months before the season, there had not been any further progress, so one night I decided to start a Twitter account to try and get the ball rolling. It seemed to work. The first 6 of us met in March 2015, more showed up to the first game, and it’s been growing via word of mouth and social media since.
MK: If a fan wants to join the supporters’ group, how would they go about it? What does it mean to be a part of the group?
The easiest way to join us is to join our Facebook group. We currently organize events such as pub nights or banner paintings and do most of our brainstorming through there. We do not have a formal structure, so if you want to be a member, you are.
MK: Is there much interaction between the group and the management at Cavalry FC? If so, have they been receptive to your ideas?
SC: Most of our communication with the club is through Tommy Wheeldon. He’s worked with us for the last 4 years when we supported Calgary Foothills, and I would argue he’s our biggest backer. He loves the majority of our ideas, and for ideas which he may disagree on, his feedback is always constructive, and via insight from the players’ side of things.
The other people we have worked with in the front office have been fantastic to work with as well. I think we will all be learning a lot in the next year about how this will work going forward. I look forward to growing with the club and the people who work there.
MK: It was recently announced that Forge FC would play host to Y9 for the official league season launch. With the full schedule days away from being announced, can you tell us what the SG has in store for those attending the first home match at Spruce Meadows?
MK: Do you think the Battle of Alberta will carry over the CFL to Cavalry FC v Edmonton FC?
SC: Yes, but not necessarily because of the existing rivalry between the Stampeders and the Eskimos. I think the rivalry between Calgary and Edmonton is one that is engrained into those of us born into the cities, and it goes beyond sports. They think we sit in ivory towers eating charcuterie all day long, and we think they’re greasy mullet lovers who only own sweatpants.
The games themselves will be better because of that existing rivalry between the cities. Personally, I think that games between the two clubs will be the best in the CPL this year, and no one in the league office can tell us otherwise.
MK: On a personal note, is there a particular player you are most looking forward to seeing playing for Cavalry FC this season?
SC: I’m very curious to see how Jordan Brown and Oliver Minatel play up front. They both look like good poachers in front of goal.
MK: If you could bring in a dream signing for the club — any player, any league — who would you want to see leading the team onto the pitch this April?
SC: Alphonso Davies. But for someone a little more realistic, I would love to see Charlie Trafford in a Cavalry shirt.
MK: As far as quality goes, what are you expecting from the league in its first season?
SC: I would be happy to see the level of play around the USL level. I know some observers are just assuming that Cavalry are a glorified PDL side, but the reality is that a lot of players on last year’s PDL side dropped down from the professional game to play for Tommy. And seeing players like Elijah Adekugbe, Nico Pasquotti and Dean Northover make the jump to the pro game after watching them for years with Foothills makes me very happy.
Thanks again to Sean Clarke for taking the time. If you are interested in getting tickets, visit the Cavalry FC website.