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Kicking their way into a new season
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The Bradwell Tigers showed off their men and women’s soccer team at a jamboree Saturday.
Head coach Greg Cooke used the exhibition to see what he has to work on as the teams prep for another tough season. The women’s team is young and the men have last year’s victories to live up to.

Lady Tigers outlook
“We have quite a bit of returnees and we also picked up a few new players,” Cooke said as he looks to this year’s lady squad. “We went into the jamboree not knowing what we had but we did well and they played well together. They definitely showed a lot more in their first game than I thought they would. Compared to last season it looks like they are working well with  each other.”
The Lady Tigers split their victories during the jamboree with a 0-1 loss in their first game but a 2-0 win in game two.
Cooke said that while he picked up some older players this season, others have never played before. Overall he said his returning players gelled because they took it upon themselves to stay fit and active during the off-season. The Lady Tigers are still a young team with only one senior on the roster. And it’s her first year with the Tigers and coach Cooke.
Men’s outlook
With a winning season last year the Tigers still look like a new team after losing three significant starters.
“We lost a lot of key players last year,” Cooke said. “We lost our starting keeper, our sweeper and our starting center mid, which for a lot of folks that may not be a huge deal, but in the style of ball we play and the formation we play those are three critical positions.”
Cooke said those positions are now being filled by younger players and he has a new Tiger player on the roster he hopes can fill in as goalkeeper.
“Mid-field-wise it looked a lot better (at the jamboree),” he said. “They are still young and there was some quick growing during that first game. We lost 0-3 against a very experienced, and cohesive team. It took our players a little time to get used to that. After a little time they got used to it and they started working well together.”
Cooke said defensively their squad looked new.
“When you lose your sweeper and your keeper that’s a huge detriment,” he said. “However I have some players who showed up very positively in those games. You know last year we set a precedent and I tell them we have to continue that. We can’t just say ‘well, we did well last year, it’s going to happen again this year.’ We have to start from scratch. We have specific positions we have to fill.
The Tigers will have until Feb. 26 when they face Camden County to get ready.
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