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FC Edmonton prepared to raise the bar in 2017 as Manchester preseason begins

“Last season was excellent and that’s got to be our benchmark. We now have to aim to be in that top-one or two in the league and try to win a championship."
Jamie Umbach (@JamieUmbach) | Mar 10, 2017

As FC Edmonton prepares for its first international friendly of 2017 this Saturday, Mar. 11 against Wigan Athletic FC Reserves, head coach Colin Miller looks forward to a change of setting for his players ahead of the club’s season opener in Jacksonville, Fla. against the Armada on April 2.

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Arriving in Manchester, England on Friday, FC Edmonton begins a 13-day preseason tour that includes four preseason friendlies against Premier League sides Burnley FC and Stoke City U-23’s and the Championship’s Newcastle United U-23’s and Wigan Athletic FC Reserves. The club has a quick turnaround to its first friendly on Saturday against Wigan, with a recap of the match including highlights and interviews to follow the same night on fcedmonton.com.

Facing quality opposition and having the chance to immerse itself in one of the world’s best soccer environments during preseason helps give FC Edmonton an extra boost going into the NASL Spring Season.

“The attitude and intensity of [our opposition] in the United Kingdom is different than the majority of the NASL,” Miller said. “The primary goal when we go to England is to get our fitness levels up and for players to step up and say ‘I deserve to be on the plane leaving Edmonton to go to Jacksonville.’”

“We’ve got arguably the best preseason out of any team in the NASL and some of the teams in [Major League Soccer] because we’re playing two Premier League and two Championship Under-23 sides. It speaks volumes to how well the players did last preseason that we’ve managed to arrange these types of games.”

FC Edmonton was able to jump out early in the NASL Spring Season standings last season after its preseason trip to Scotland, eventually finishing one point behind the Indy Eleven and New York Cosmos in third-place. Earning the third-overall spot in the combined standings and a spot in The Championship — the NASL’s four-team postseason tournament — at the end of the season set the standard for the club moving forward.

“We’ll need to be at our best, but this is what we want — to raise the bar,” Miller commented.  “Last season was excellent and that’s got to be our benchmark. We now have to aim to be in that top-one or two in the league and try to win a championship. This start to preseason is fantastic and thanks to our owners Tom and Dave Fath for supporting this venture.”

FC Edmonton face EFL Championship side Wigan Athletic FC Reserves on Saturday, Mar. 11. Kick-off is at 11:00 p.m. GMT (4:00 a.m. MT). The full preseason schedule and how to follow along with FC Edmonton in Manchester can be found here

FC Edmonton kicks off their 2017 NASL campaign, April 2! Home opener Saturday, April 8 at Clarke Stadium. Lock down your season tickets with just a $50 deposit. For tickets and more information, click HERE, call 780.700.2600 or visit www.fcedmonton.com/claimyourthrone.

 

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