Home NASL & USL FC Edmonton FC Edmonton says new player arriving on weekend: Linfield confirms it’s NI international Robert Garrett

FC Edmonton says new player arriving on weekend: Linfield confirms it’s NI international Robert Garrett


FC Edmonton confirmed that it will be announcing a new player on Saturday, pending that player passing a medical after he arrives in Canada.

That player is expected to be Northern Irish international Robert Garrett, who Linfield FC announced would be going to Edmonton on loan for the NASL season. FCE has not officially confirmed the identity of the player, just that someone is indeed arriving Friday night in Edmonton. And, because a medical still needs to be passed, FCE does not consider the deal to be final.

Yesterday, Linfield FC manager David Jeffrey confirmed on the club’s website that Garrett, who has five senior caps for Northern Ireland, would be going to FCE, where he’d rejoin former teammates Albert Watson and Daryl Fordyce. Watson, now FCE’s captain, and Fordyce left Linfield outright and then had successful trials with the Eddies. Watson is currently out with a torn MCL and Fordyce started in Saturday’s season-opening draw with Fort Lauderdale.

Jeffrey was quoted on the Linfield official site: “I can confirm that Robert Garrett will be leaving the club to take up an offer of full-time football in Canada.

Robert Garrett

“The simple fact of the matter is that when Robert agreed his current contract with the club, as part of the negotiations a clause was inserted in his contract whereby the club would agree to his release, if the opportunity of full-time football were to come along for him.

“I think it’s important on the club’s behalf that we clarify the circumstances of Robert’s release from his contract, when compared to the situation we were faced with with regard to Daryl Fordyce and Albert Watson.

“They both advised the club in writing of their request to be released from their contract because it was their intention to emigrate to Canada. Football was a secondary consideration for them and certainly not the primary reason for their decision to leave Northern Ireland. At that stage, while it would be fair to say the timing of their departures was unfortunate, the club chose to respect their wishes and allow them to play football in Canada.

“To give further clarification on the circumstances of Robert’s departure ; in the first instance Robert will be leaving us on the basis of a loan agreement for the duration of the Canadian season which ends in November. At that time Robert’s situation will be reviewed by this club.”

If the player does pass the medical, he will not be available for Saturday’s match against Carolina. The target debut match would be the April 20 road game in Minnesota.

Garrett is a former Stoke City youth player.

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  1. Mike

    April 11, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    Coach Sinkgraven brought his Dutch countrymen over to play. Is Coach Miller doing the same? IMO, who’s losing is the Canadian players we had proudly assembled. I don’t want a token Canadian on the team. Ft. Lauderdale bragged they had 14 players from different nations on their team. In Division 2 soccer we can surely find home-grown talent capable of winning. I include management in that thought.

    • Footy

      April 12, 2013 at 7:14 am

      You see that everywhere, coaches rely on players they already know. You are right, most positions should be filled with homegrown players. Especially full backs or a simple midfielder every club should be able to produce. But FCE is starting from scratch. They need some kind of acceptable level for the Canadians to aim for. Let’s be honest, at this moment there just aren’t enough quality Canuck-players to fill the team with. This is apparent, because the other NASL-teams have like 2? 3? Canadians in total playing for them?

      But hey, they’re signing 17-year-olds right now, in a couple of years some of those kids can become the base of the squad. Also the other pro clubs are developing players, from which FCE and Ottawa should benefit in the nearby future.

  2. Footy

    April 11, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    I think FCE’s management is up to something. I know Northern Ireland doesn’t have the best of leauges, but it’s on the top of a pyramid, in which the top clubs develop and buy the best players from the lesser clubs. In that respect, Linfield is a top club, they’re used to winning and having the pressure of being the team to beat.

    For the players the Rabbits can be attractive, because A) it’s full-time pro soccer and B) it’s a North-American adventure. And you could hardly argue that Canada doesn’t have a link with the (N-) Irish.

    Dependent on how this season goes, I don’t think Garrett will be the last North-Irish player for the Eddies.

  3. BCM

    April 11, 2013 at 10:53 am

    Robert Garrett is a far better player than Fordyce and Watson – at least he was when I saw them all play a few years back. Different class. I was, and remain, skeptical about the benefits of the original two Norn iron players. Seems like a tie-up between FCE and Linfield is in the works!

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