Vets will lead Hamilton Lady Avalanche

avalancheWith a new head coach and a solid group of returnees, you can be certain the Hamilton Lady Avalanche women’s USL-W League squad is eager to kick off the 2010 United Soccer League season.

This year’s Lady Avalanche will have at least nine players returning to the fold and they’ll all be under the guidance of new bench boss Jimmy Sinclair. Sinclair, who has been involved in the game for more than 30 years in North America, brings with him a wealth of experience.

The new head coach can draw on the knowledge he gained playing at the professional level, having suited up for the Hamilton Steelers, Buffalo Stallions and Tacoma Stars. That makes him the perfect fit for a Lady Avalanche team that is looking to make the playoffs after missing out last season.

“He’s an accomplished teacher of the game,” Hamilton Avalanche CEO Valdi Greco said. “He is a great motivator and competitor. His technical expertise combined with his adaptive coaching approach and love of the game makes him the perfect coach to head the Avalanche in 2010.” Sinclair, who also coached youth soccer with the Oakville Soccer Club and Mount Hamilton, is looking forward to helping the Lady Avalanche improve on its record last season of three wins, six losses and three ties in the W-League’s Great Lakes Division.

“This is truly an exciting opportunity,” Sinclair said on the club website. “Not only for me, but also for female athletes in the city of Hamilton and surrounding areas who have reached the required standards to play at the top level. It also provides a goal for youth players in the district to aspire to.”

The Lady Avalanche will rely on a solid group of returnees to help them this season. In goal, McMaster University graduate Amy Holt has a pair of national championship medals under her belt. Defence is solid with a group of three returnees. Carley Luongo, 19, is tough to beat, relying on her speed to cover opponents, while Jamie Schroter also has a strong set of wheels and a pretty strong boot to stretch out the opposition with her long kicks. The group is anchored by veteran Paula Sinclair. “Her strength is her experience and toughness,” Greco said of Sinclair.

The midfield has plenty of experience returning and is led by Chiara Greco. A member of the Ontario Gold medal winning provincial team in 2002, Greco is an experienced playmaker and scorer. University of Louisville student Chelsea Spencer brings strong defensive play and toughness to the midfield, while Alison Heydorn brings a good deal of speed.

Up front, Hayley Marler boasts an impressive combination of strength and speed to go along with a solid scoring touch and works nicely with fellow forward Brett Vanderwoude, who provides good size and strength. “We rely on good defensive play,” Valdi Greco said. “We wait for our opportunities and rely on a quick counterattack, but we (mainly) try to keep the other team off the scoreboard.”

Hamilton opens the season at Brian Timmins Stadium on May 30 against the Ottawa Fury with a 6 p.m. kick off. The remainder of the Lady Avalanche’s home schedule will see them face the Quebec City Amiral on June 5 at 3 p.m., then back- to-back home dates with the Toronto Lady Lynx on June 16 and 23, both 6:30 p.m. kick-offs, followed by a June 26 contest against the Laval Comets at 5 p.m. before closing out the regular season schedule on home turf July 7 against the Rochester Ravens at 7 p.m.

Hamilton Lady Avalanche Home Schedule

VS. Ottawa Sunday, May 30 6:00 pm Brian Timmins Stadium
VS. Quebec Saturday, June 5 3:00 pm Brian Timmins Stadium
VS. Toronto Wednesday, June 16 6:30 pm Brian Timmins Stadium
VS. Toronto Wednesday, June 23 6:30 pm Brian Timmins Stadium
VS. Laval Saturday, June 26 5:00 pm Brian Timmins Stadium
VS. Rochester Wednesday, July 7 7:00 pm Brian Timmins Stadium