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Preview: Football

Bracing for impact. Photo by Martina Marien
Bracing for impact. Photo by Martina Marien

New head coach Stuart MacLean has high hopes for a football squad that only had a 1-5 record to show for themselves last season.

But if you speak with Dalhousie’s former offensive coordinator turned head coach, it’s evident that last year’s standing did not mirror a team that should have been a threat last season.

MacLean believes the squad that will take the field Saturday is the best Dalhousie has assembled since the football club was revived three years ago.

“We’re not expecting that we’ll dominate people, but we think we’ll be competitive.”

The Tigers are expecting that improving their kicking game, a sore spot last season, will help change their fortunes for the better. Defensive back Rob Wilson will double as the kicker.

“Last year we sometimes got close three or four times a game but we didn’t kick it in,” says MacLean.

“That could have been the difference.”

Of the over 30 returnees to wear the black and gold, Greg Pelly is among the standouts, expected to lead the team’s running game. In the pocket, MacLean will rely on a two-quarterback system for at least the early part of the season. First-string Brendan Festeryga will get the nod in the home opener, but improving second-year Mike Tassone will have ample playing time as well.

“It’s a toss-up, really, to see who gets the chance.”

Each club in the four-team Atlantic Football League will qualify for the playoffs at the end of October.

Ian Froese
Ian Froese
Ian was the Gazette's Editor-in-chief for Volume 146. He was the Sports Editor for Volumes 145 and 144.

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