Brendan Teeling: ‘It’s about being selfless and putting your body on the line’

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TSS Rovers’ head coach discusses pre-season as his side prepare for important league and cup matches.

The waiting is over. The third League1 BC season is upon us as TSS Rovers’ men’s side prepare for another competitive campaign. 

For head coach Brendan Teeling, this will be his first year in charge after taking over from Darren Russcher. He’s positive going into the season, despite some minor setbacks.

“It’s been a bit of a wild ride in terms of dealing with provincial players still playing in their respective leagues, but we do have good numbers and a really good group.

“We have a lot of versatile players who are able to operate in a number of positions, players who can do a job for the team. That’s the mentality for this season.”

The Rovers believe in player development and encourage players to pursue higher-level opportunities. “We’ve obviously pushed a few players on to play elsewhere, including Nico in Norway [Gjelleråsen],” said Teeling.

“For the most part, I think we’ve strengthened the group. We’ve got some experienced guys coming back, and then we’ve also got a good crop of younger players coming through. We’ve got the depth to deal with injuries or whatever happens down the line.”

An additional test awaits before their league campaign begins. Their preliminary round Canadian Championship fixture at Pacific FC takes place on May 1st, five days before their league opener against the Whitecaps. Teeling was assistant coach during last season’s surprise cup victory over Valour, but is well aware of the challenge of Wednesday’s game.

“Going into the game on Wednesday, we’ve got to be adaptable and work as hard as the opposition. We’ll be organised, and we’ll be prepared.

“It’s about being selfless and putting your body on the line, covering for your teammates… We’ve got to be very ruthless in front of the goal and execute any chances. We may not get many.”

Despite positive performances last season, the Rovers missed out on any silverware. Teeling seeks to repeat the successes of the 2022 season, when they won the inaugural League1 BC championship. “We should stand for that type of success every season; this season is no different. We want to be winning the league, winning the play-offs, and playing in the Canadian Championship.”

TSS Rovers’ men will travel to the Starlight Stadium in Langford to take on Pacific FC at 7 p.m. on May 1st. The Rovers then kick off their League1 BC campaign against Whitecaps Academy at Ken Woods Field at 3 p.m. on May 5th.