Alliance looking strong

Taking over a struggling, unorganized sports franchise is a massive undertaking, even at the best of times.

Doing it in a market where most people have no understanding of the sport? Some would call it crazy.

That’s exactly what Tony Pesce did though when he took over the fledging Winnipeg Alliance FC.

Alliance is an indoor soccer franchise started up a few years back here in Winnipeg. A mixture of poor management and lack of funding spelled doom for their initial incarnation but the club returned last year to take another kick at it.

After an initial period of uncertainty, Tony Pesce who works in the automotive repair industry by day, purchased the club with the singular goal of getting them on track and establishing the sport here in Manitoba.

He seems to be well on his way.

Admittedly, Alliance did not have the strongest season on the field last year as they finished near the bottom of the standings but that should change this year with more stability and a clear focus.

The club have found a suitable and permanent home in Seven Oaks Soccerplex and have worked hard to foster ties in the community. This summer they formed a partnership with a number of organizations in the city to help inner city kids get out of gangs and into soccer. They staged a two day camp at Canadian Mennonite University and also had a showcase event at the new pitch in Central Park downtown.

That community involvement will be the key if the Alliance is to find a place in the hearts of Winnipeggers and last in this market.

In a clear statement that they understand this basic fact, Alliance is holding open tryouts this weekend at Canlan Ice Sports on Ellice Avenue. All are welcome to come out and play and all players are guaranteed at least two sessions. There is a fee of $15.

Alliance general manager Robbin Watson said she has seen incredible interest from the community with a swell of players calling the club to signal their intentions to tryout. They expect participants from African leagues and various other divisions to attend.

The tryouts are just the first step in Alliance’s new vision to be more active in our community. You can expect them to be a major player in Winnipeg soccer and act as a key partner for the MSA moving forward.

If Tony Pesce has his way, the team can finally be something for Winnipeg soccer fans to be proud of.

For more information on Alliance FC and their plans moving forward, follow the MSA on twitter at:!/manitobasoccer

Or visit their official website at:

Photos taken from the Winnipeg Alliance Facebook page.

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