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FC Edmonton coach interested in “a couple” of players from NASL Combine

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FC Edmonton coach Harry Sinkgraven said he has interest in “a couple” of the players he saw put through their paces over the weekend at the NASL Combine.

Sinkgraven and assistant Hans Schrijver traveled to Florida over the weekend to look at more than 70 prospects vying for jobs in North America’s second division — a list that included six Canadians.

From NASL match reports, we know that former Montreal Impact prospect Kevin Cossette impressed with a whale of a free-kick goal; and Simon Fraser University product Dalvir Malhi also had some impressive stints on the field.

Sinkgraven said he can’t name the prospects who interest the club, as the team now needs to negotiate with their agents and find out if those players would actually be interested in coming to Edmonton.

Harry Sinkgraven

“We saw some good players,” said Sinkgraven. “The level of competition was decent. Not all of them were good players. There are a couple of players we’d like to talk to.”

Sinkgraven said it was hard to compare the level of play from the 2012 combine to the one held in 2011; the players are different, so it’s hard to judge one group against the other.

Before Sinkgraven and Schrijver left, FCE Director of Soccer Operations Joe Petrone stressed that many of the team’s training camp spots have been filled, but the club is still looking for help at left back and centre back. It’s still unclear who will start the season as Paul Hamilton’s partner in the centre of defence. And, while veteran Kevin Hatchi looks to be the opening-day starter at left back, the team desperately needs more depth at that position.

But there may be no room left at the inn when it comes to midfield, striker and goalkeeping positions. The question for Sinkgraven at those spots is who plays and who doesn’t. Petrone said that the team would of course look at outstanding players no matter the position, but it’s the left side of defence is where the team’s most pressing need lies.

Sinkgraven is hopeful that the Combine players FCE likes will also like the prospect of trying to make the Eddies’ roster.

“We have to find a match,” said Sinkgraven. “We have to contact the player’s agent. And are they interested in coming to our club? Everything has to fit.”

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