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Red Bombers ready for 2014 AFL season

When it comes to the UNB Red Bombers, Mike McSorley is a certified expert. Having played a key role as a player on the team since 2009, last season marked his final year of eligibility. This year, McSorley is bringing his firsthand knowledge of the team to his new role as general manager.

Based on the team’s lacklustre record last year, his expertise will surely come in handy when it comes to preparing for the upcoming 2014 season.

“Last season didn’t go so well for our team,” said McSorley. “We went 1-5 during the regular season, and we lost out to Saint John in the semi-finals.”

“Our biggest issue was that we were good until the fourth quarter and then kind of fell apart. This year we’re really focusing on our conditioning and our depth in order to not have that problem repeat itself.”

When asked about the team’s goals for this season, McSorley was clear about their intentions.

“This season we hope to compete for a championship. We have all the tools to do it; now we just have to put it all together on the field.”

The team has an impressive number of players back for another season, particularly on their offensive line. Some key returnees include quarterback Brendan Cornford who is in his sixth season of eligibility. Other notable names are star fullback John Morse, and “the three-headed monster” at back, made up of AJ Durling, Cody Stewart and Mitch McCoy.

Although the Red Bombers will certainly depend on these seasoned veterans to lead the team towards victory, there are also several exciting new additions to watch out for.

“We have Turner Sturgeon coming in from Leo Hayes who will definitely play a key role,” said McSorley. “We’ve also added Simon Bissonnette, who had formerly played hockey at St. Thomas University, as well as former Holland College Hurricane Lesley Green. I’m really looking forward to seeing our offence play.”

Two other recruits who will add depth to UNB’s already impressive offensive line are Ian McMillan and Ryan Cann, who previously played for the Mount Allison Mounties.

McSorley was quick to point out, however, that the team cannot dream of being successful without a hardworking defensive line.

“We have Nick Richardson returning on d-line, and Mike Benson in the middle. Our big defensive backs are led by Alex White and Jeff Madsen,” said the general manager. “We can definitely count on these guys to play hard every night and help us bring home a championship in November.”

The Red Bombers will be competing in the Atlantic Football League alongside the University of New Brunswick Saint John, Dalhousie University and Holland College. The team will play each opponent twice throughout the season.

The Red Bombers’ first home game will be the highlight of Homecoming festivities on Sept. 27. This weekend, the team travels to Halifax to take on Dalhousie for their first game of the regular season.
The team has been practicing three times a week since Aug. 23. That being said, they are still actively seeking new players to add to the roster. Anyone looking to join the Red Bombers can contact McSorley at mike_mcsorley_7@hotmail.com.

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