United excited about cup play

Nanaimo United went through the rigours of an 18-game regular season and missed out on a provincials berth by one measly point.

So they’ll just have to qualify, instead, by winning the Jackson Cup playdowns.

Nanaimo’s Div. 1 men’s soccer team opens the Vancouver Island Soccer League’s playoffs tonight (Feb. 25) with a home game against Bays United Div. 2.

Nanaimo won’t take anyone by surprise in cup play, not after beating Gordon Head, one of the league’s best teams, 6-1 this month and then punishing Juan de Fuca, one of the league’s worst, 15-1 a week later.

“I think they’ve all had fair warning now with a few of those results,” said Scott Davison, coach of the team. “So ultimately, we’re found out and it’s time to back it up now with continued performance.”

They can’t let up, even against a lower-tiered opponent like Div. 2 Bays.

“They still have a chance and if you misinterpret that [you] end up on the wrong side of the scoreboard,” said the coach. “So we’ve got to be vigilant and the guys have to put in 100 per cent effort.”

Davison said the team took a break last week and returns refreshed.

“We’re ready to go,” he said. “We’re ready to measure up again and see what we’ve got.”

GAME ON … United’s Div. 1 men face Bays Div. 2 tonight at 7 p.m. at Merle Logan Field right after a 5 p.m. game between Nanaimo’s Div. 2 men and Gorge FC of Div. 1. On Sunday Nanaimo United’s U21 men play the Saanich Braves at 2 p.m. at Merle Logan.

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