NITROS MUST NOURISH TO FLOURISH

A LOT OF LEARNING ON THEIR PLATES...our Nitros 03 and 02 boys ate up the Boomerang Health workshop 

NORTH TORONTO NITROS’ OPDL players have been given a fascinating insight  into how eating correctly can give them an edge as athletes and provide them with a healthier lifestyle.

A series of in-depth workshops with Boomerang Health expert Alyson Martinez was held this month after the club identified a need for more knowledge in this key field for our emerging talents.

NTSC Technical Director Billy Wilson and OPDL head coach Marc Maunder visited Boomerang to see the work done there after our technical staff colleagues at Richmond Hill had recommended the program.

They were hugely impressed with the structure of the information given and now 87 Nitros’ players have learned more about nutrition, a key factor in the sports science of nurturing healthy athletes.

Marc told ntsoccer.com: “The workshop looked at some simple ideas to try to improve the players’ performance.

“For example we looked at the 3,2,1 rule so athletes know what to eat three hours, two hours and one hour before a game.

"Players then looked at what an athlete’s plate looks like on a light to medium session and a high intensity session or a game.

“The boys and girls also discussed what meals should look like for a healthy youth and there was a lot of discussion about practice and matchday snacks. 

“For our female players they discovered the female athlete triad and also some crucial information on iron deficiency.”

After the weekend of workshops Marc gauged reactions from both parents and players to the latest building block in our OPDL program.

And he revealed: “I have had feedback since from parents saying that athletes are now starting to change little things about their diet.

“I have real hope moving forward now that the presentation will have a very positive impact on the players’ performance and lifestyle.”

Diet and the need for fuel for athletes is a vital area as young players grow and learn how to manage their bodies and the energy levels they require.

In the OPDL that can mean four training sessions a week and a game and nutrition plays a massive role in ensuring our Nitros are ready for action.

Marc reflected: “I personally hope that the long-lasting benefit for this presentation will be a healthy and positive attitude to food.

“As an athlete they have to be comfortable with the fact that players training in the manner OPDL players do each week need to eat more and differently to their school friends who do not play sport at such a high level.”

Now that the workshops have been piloted at NT the plan is that this will become a key part of the curriculum for our developing players at the U13/14 level.

At that point parents can have a huge influence on a player’s eating habits and it is then we can set in place a routine that becomes a healthy part of their lives.


WEEK TWO

RUNNING THROUGH THE 6ix!

BOYS UNDER-14 CENTRAL

NORTH TORONTO NITROS...6 VAUGHAN...1

NITROS stormed back from an opening day reverse against Hamilton United Elite to stun Vaughan with a six-shooting performance at Downsview Park on Sunday.

Coach Octavian Ghidanac's side were dominant from the first whistle as Evan Jardim grabbed a hat-trick to shoot to the top of the OPDL scoring charts with Adrian Perez, Bilal Abou-Reslan and Adrian Panaite also on target.

Vaughan's only reply was a penalty from Demetrios Saratsiotis as one of the strongest 2004 boys teams in Ontario were outshone by a performance that left the boys' coach delighted.

Octavian told ntsoccer.com: "It is always great when you are facing a strong opponent and you have all the positive stats on our team's side.

"The keys to this performance were our communication and a consistent, meaningful possession of the ball and variation of the attacking actions.

"We had good distribution of the ball from the midfield area to the wing players that the Vaughan full-backs couldn’t handle. 

"We had quick, unpredictable change of the point of the attack and that forced them to open up, creating gaps on their central defensive line.

"Overall, we showed great team spirit and the performance reflected the mindset of each one of the boys heading into this game."

Coach Octavian revealed that hat-trick hero Evan had not trained properly in the build-up to Week Two of the OPDL which made his contribution all the more satisfying.

The U14 boys head coach stressed: "Evan couldn't train at full capacity due to an injury in the opener. So despite not being 100 per cent he scored a hat-trick, that shows the quality and the potential that is within him."

DANNY'S STRIKE NOT ENOUGH

BOYS U17 OPDL CUP

UNIONVILLE...2 NORTH TORONTO NITROS...1

DANIEL MALAJ scored his second spectacular free-kick of the new season but it wasn't enough on the Bill Crothers Turf last Wednesday night as hosts Unionville deservedly marched through to the next round.

Nitros weathered an early storm of pressure to go ahead against the run of play when set-piece expert Malaj curled home a superb effort from 25 yards to mirror his goal in the pre-season win over Vaughan.

Unionville, though, looked the sharper side throughout and a penalty from Joshua Alegria and Alex Lewis' winner sent them through in a physical and hard-fought encounter.

GIRLS SET THEIR SIGHTS ON UMBRO SHOWCASE

GIRLS U17 OPDL CUP

NORTH TORONTO NITROS...2 RICHMOND HILL...2

NITROS' reigning OPDL League champions walked away from Downsview with a feeling of frustration after this one - then started the countdown to looking to impress the watching scouts at this weekend's Umbro Showcase. 

Keyosha Donkor and Chantelle Parker were on target for coach Marko Milanovic's side with Tierra Garniss and Jillian Therrien replying for Richmond Hill.

Coach Marko's side are still in the hunt in the Cup as this is a three team section and he stressed: "The girls dominated possession and created more chances than Richmond Hill.  They were dangerous on the counter and from set-pieces as we had to play an outfield player in net due to OSA call-up restrictions.

"I was pleased with the overall performance. There is a lot of work to be done, especially in negative transition.

"The overall level, though,  is good for this time of the year and we are looking forward to having back some of our injured players. All of the girls are now looking forward to a chance to impress in the Umbro showcase this weekend."


WEEK ONE

LAUREN AT THE HART OF IT ALL

GIRLS U17

HAMILTON UNITED ELITE...0 NORTH TORONTO NITROS...4

NITROS' Provincial player Lauren Hart scored twice as her side roared into the season in style with a rock solid win at the Ontario Soccer Stadium on Saturday.

Meghan McKye and Chantelle Parker also notched as last season's OPDL League champions sent out a message to their rivals in the campaign's curtain raiser.

Coach Marko Milanovic was delighted to hear of the OPDL opening day success for his girls' side after he landed back in Canada from Spain where he guided his U15s boys team as they represented the nation in the Gatorade 5s in Barcelona.

Marko saw his girls league champs suffer some heartbreak in the play-off section of the competition last season but he reasoned: "Our primary concern, when it comes to results, is winning the league.

"We feel that achieving this goal shows consistency in performance over the entire season.  While we would love to win the playoff portion as well, our primary goal is always to win the league."

This has been a high-achieving group in the Nitros' hierarchy with three players - Canadian U17 WNT defender Sonia Walk, Olivia Smith and Jasmine Vilgrain - all graduating to the Regional Excellence Program.

Now Marko reshapes his squad for this season's challenge and he said: "Lauren has been working very hard during pre-season, and I am happy to see that she's getting the results that she deserves.

"Much like majority of players at this age, her confidence level plays a major role in her overall performances. Two goals on the opening weekend should give her another boost to continue to work towards achieving her goals."

MADELEINE TO THE FOUR

GIRLS U15

NORTH TORONTO NITROS...7 HAMILTON UNITED ELITE...0

NITROS' sharpshooter Madeleine Penman-Derstine scored FOUR as her on-form side got off to a sizzling start on OPDL opening day.

In a true team performance Emma Mazzei, Nia Wilson and Sophia Licki were also on target for coach Marc Maunder's side as they dominated proceedings in their first fixture.

Coach Marc was delighted with an excellent all-round display from the defending OPDL champions and he said: "The girls played very well especially in the second-half, they met their targets, which meant goals from midfield to support the front three.

"With only 14 players the girls dug in and worked so hard to guarantee a clean sheet and it was a very good win to open up the season."

KAILAH GETS A HEAD START 

RED-DY FOR THE NEXT ONE...Henry McIntosh's 04 Girls impressed the coach in Game One

GIRLS U14

NORTH TORONTO NITROS...1 SC TORONTO...2

KAILAH KILFOYLE'S brilliant header wasn't enough for the competitive rookie Nitros as they enjoyed their first OPDL scores and standings match-up but were edged out by city rivals SC Toronto on Sunday at the Ontario Soccer Centre.

Rachel Lewars and Teagan Hollenberg scored for SC as they took the spoils leaving Nitros determined to bounce back quickly in their next fixture at home to Vaughan at Downsview on Sunday.

For U14 head coach Henry McIntosh the signs are encouraging for the campaign ahead and he said: "I was very happy with the girls and how they performed in their first game of the season.

"The girls played a difficult match against SC Toronto but were never second best in their organization, intensity and desire on the pitch. The girls played well and I’m confident that they are more than ready for the long season ahead.

"I’m pleased to acknowledge Kailah Kilfoyle who we signed just two weeks before the season started.  Kailah came on as a sub after 40 minutes and scored a wonderful headed goal from a cross in her first game in the OPDL. Congratulations Kailah."

NEW BOY CAILAN'S OFF TO A FLYER

BOYS U17 WEST

NORTH TORONTO NITROS...2 UNIONVILLE...1

CAILAN ROBINSON scored a competitive debut winner as Nitros' U17 boys kept up their impressive early season form with a tight triumph over Unionville at the BMO Training Centre on Saturday.

The Nitros' new boy clinched the victory with his fellow midfielder Ethan Thorogood also on the scoresheet for coach Martinho Kibato's side. Joshua Alegria hit back for Unionville.

Nitros had geared up for OPDL Opening Day in style with pre-season wins over both Woodbridge and Vaughan.

And although they didn't hit the heights they can in their first league game, Robinson's winner sends the team to Unionville for a rematch on Wednesday night in the OPDL Cup in good spirits.

Coach Martinho reflected: "Cailan came to us from an Academy set-up this winter and I have been pleased with his contribution so far.

"He is a versatile player who can play the holding or attacking midfield positions or even in central defence should we require that. Cailan has a good sense of the game in finding penetration, switching of play and he can also strike a good shot. 

"Like of all our side at this stage, though, there is still much to improve upon. He needs extra work on his fitness and defensively he needs improvement in retaining balance in the midfield."

SORE OPENER BUT NITROS STAY UPBEAT

BOYS U14 WEST 

HAMILTON UNITED ELITE...4 NORTH TORONTO NITROS...0

NORTH TORONTO NITROS got off to a hurtful start on Sunday as they fell to a four-goal defeat at the hands of rivals Hamilton at the Ontario Soccer Centre.

Goals from Gady Badran, Noah Geyer, Tyler Dawson and Mason Petrucci gave United Elite the perfect beginning to the season with Nitros now determined to bounce back next time out.

Coach Octavian Ghidanac was upbeat afterwards, focusing on a positive performance from his side and he said: "Despite the score not being in our favour, the boys played well and kept control of the game most of the time. 

"It was the first time using the 3-5-2 system and the boys adapted very well and created countless chances of scoring. 

"I’d like to make mention of two players, Adrian Panaite for his dominance on the ball in the midfield area and Nima Khodaii, for his effective crosses from the left side into our opponent's penalty box."