Home NASL & USL FC Edmonton Garrett says he relishes return to “full-time football” with FC Edmonton

Garrett says he relishes return to “full-time football” with FC Edmonton


A dead car battery forced the newest member of FC Edmonton to be late for his first training session. But Northern Irish international midfielder Robert Garrett can’t wait to be playing full-time soccer again.

Garrett arrived with countryman and close friend Albert Watson and watched the second half of the Eddies’ morning training session out in Spruce Grove, west of the city. Watson, who is out with a knee injury, was to drive Garrett to the Fuhr Sports Park — where the snow was cleared into five-foot high banks on the sidelines. But a dead battery hampered their progress to the ‘burbs.

Garrett was officially announced as an Eddie Tuesday, on loan till November from Northern Irish side Linfield FC. Watson, the team’s new captain, and striker Daryl Fordyce are all Linfield expats who now call Edmonton home.

“I’ve know Robert for a long time,” said Fordyce after the training session. “I’ve played with him since we were about eight or nine years of age. We played with the same team. Albert was a year older than me, Robert a year younger, so we always would end up training with each other.”

Garrett has five caps for his national side, the most recent coming two years ago against Wales in the Nations’ Cup. Wales won that match 2-0, with current Toronto FC striker Robert Earnshaw bagging a goal.

Robert Garrett
“I had heard from Daryl and Albert about the team, and I’d heard there was a bit of interest,” said Garrett. “I knew there was an opportunity here, and I wanted to get back to playing full-time football.”

Financial hardships have hit the Northern Irish league, and a lot of the existing pro clubs had to go back to semipro status, and it affected paycheques and playing time.

“The first time at Linfield, I was on a full-time contract,” said Garrett. “When three years was up, a wage cap came in with the league. We had to go back to playing part time, training three times a week.”

And, for a player who wanted to build a career — going from pro to semipro was a tough pill to swallow. So, Edmonton, a full professional side, represents a step up.

“This is a player I have wanted for a long time,” said FCE coach Colin Miller. “He is busy with the ball, and he will retain possession. He will get into the box and score some goals, as well. He’s a fresh face, which means more competition for places. There is no complacency at all on the team.”

“I’m a player who likes to be on the ball a lot,” said Garrett. “I want to try and make things happen.”

Garrett will join an Eddies team that’s 0-1-1 through the first two weeks of the season. But the team had two shots hit the woodwork in each of its first two matches, including an attempt by Fordyce in last weekend’s 2-1 loss to Carolina.

“If it wasn’t for bad luck, we wouldn’t have had any luck at all,” Miller lamented.

“A lot of the time, it’s becomes a game of inches,” said Fordyce. “One inch on either side, and we would have come back home with six points instead of one.”

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One Comment

  1. Footy

    April 17, 2013 at 9:54 am

    Ok so now the Centre of FCE consists of former Linfield guys. That should provide a stable backbone to the squad, although I wonder where Hlavaty will go now. Or is Miller going to play 2 defensive mids? Anyway, I like the plan that they have, now hopefully it will bring some points.

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