Stingers football benefitting from full off-season

Head coach has announced multiple recruits, new assistant coaches ahead of new season

Since becoming head coach of the Concordia Stingers football team last June, Brad Collinson finally had a full off-season of work. He was able to work with his coaching staff and team to prepare for the next campaign.

Collinson, a former Stingers captain and CFL player, was officially announced as the new head coach last June. Compared to last summer, when he only had two months to meet his new team and work with them, Collinson’s first full off-season with the Stingers this year finally allows him to speak with the players about their aim for next season. He said it’s beneficial for them to have time to work and prepare for next year.

Expect quarterback Adam Vance (pictured) to be challenged for his starting role. Photo by Mackenzie Lad.

“Last year, with the situation that we were in, we learned and [had the chance to see] and evaluate what was going on,” Collinson said. “This off-season, we decided to go in a different direction and make changes—sometimes change is good.”

The head coach added that this time of year gives him the chance to meet all his players in order to know them better and identify what stage of development the team is in.

“Last year was not easy because [I arrived] in the summer,” Collinson said. “Now, with this full off-season, they know how [the coaches] are and what we are trying to accomplish, so getting that message passed is a lot easier.”

The Stingers recently recruited new players to the program with hopes of improving the team. Collinson said these recruits will help build the foundation the program wants to have for years to come.

“I think the thing with recruiting is that you never know,” Collinson added. “You try to recruit the top ones. They are the type of people we want here playing at our university. We have a lot of recruits from Quebec, which will be interesting because Concordia hasn’t been able to have a lot of them in the last few years. I think it’s been a major plus to be able to recruit in CEGEPs, and, moving forward with the new staff, I think it will be our focus to try to get as many CEGEP players as possible.”

Collinson expects his team to be competitive next season. He said the team will focus on one game at a time and aim to be a tough opponent.

“At the first day of training camp, that will be the message,” the coach said. “One day, one repetition, one practice at a time. Every week and weekend, when [it will be time to] play our opponent, we will definitely be prepared.”

The 2019 Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec football calendar was unveiled earlier last week, with the Stingers playing their first game of the season against the Montréal Carabins at home on Aug. 23.

They will then play the historic Shaughnessy Cup against their rival, the McGill Redmen, on Aug. 30.

Main photo by Gabe Chevalier.

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