Edmonton Drillers

: "This article is about the original Edmonton Drillers of the NASL. For the second team to use the name in the National Professional Soccer League, see Edmonton Drillers (NPSL). For the third team currently active in the Canadian Major Indoor Soccer League, see Edmonton Drillers (CMISL)."

Edmonton Drillers (NASL 1979-1982)

The NASL edition of the club was brought to the city by Peter Pocklington during the peak of the league's success, which was in turn built upon the previous success of Brian Rice's Edmonton Black Gold (1978). The Drillers played from 1979 to 1982, helmed by Timo Liekoski. During their outdoor season, their home fields were Commonwealth Stadium and Clarke Stadium, while indoors they played at the Edmonton Coliseum. Previous to playing in Edmonton, the team was known as the Oakland Stompers, Hartford Bicentennials and Connecticut Bicentennials.

As the Edmonton Drillers, their outdoor team were characterized by a strong defensive style of play, but their indoor style was built upon a run-and-go style of attack. Attendance for the outdoor games ranged greatly from 10,000 in the early stages of the franchise to 4,000 per game in 1982. By comparison, the more successful and profitable indoor games had attendances ranging between 5000 to 7000 paying fans per game in 1981 and 1982. [Prince, Gerry. (2004) Pro soccer in Edmonton... a look through the years. ]

Factors Leading to the Team's (and League's) Collapse

In 1982, costs were skyrocketing for the team as they were with a number of the other NASL franchises. In Edmonton's case in particular, the following have been speculated as factors connected with the team's collapse: poor support by local media; difficulties stemming from a tricky deal with the owners of the Coliseum and Commonwealth Stadium relating to the attendance, concessions and parking at the indoor games; and as admitted by John Colbert, the Drillers' business manager in 1982, a business strategy that consisted a "top-down construction" for the team (i.e., bringing in expensive international players as opposed to developing cheaper local talent). [Ibid.] , [ [http://www.connect2edmonton.ca/forum/viewtopic.php?p=28396 Pro Soccer Slow Build in Edmonton...Edm. Sports hall of Fame ] ] , [ [http://www.bigsoccer.com/forum/showthread.php?t=223205 The riddle that is Edmonton - BigSoccer ] ]

Players

They hosted a number of notable players during their existence, such as Ross Ongaro (more recently coach of the Edmonton Brickmen and the Edmonton Drillers (NPSL)), Drew Ferguson, Kai Haskavii, Mike Sweeney, Andre Oostrom, Hayden Knight, Albert Gudmundsson and English national John Webb.

*flagicon|ENG Colin Franks (1982) 11 apps 1 goal [http://home.att.net/~nasl/players.htm#F]
*flagicon|England Brian Hornsby (1982)
*flagicon|England David Kemp (footballer) (1982)
*flagicon|England Peter Mellor (1982)
*flagicon|Canada flagicon|Netherlands Dwight Lodeweges (1979-1982)

Year-by-year

Sources


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