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Kiki Struna Trains With New Team-Mates...

... or at least with those not away on international duty...

There was a first look this morning at Kiki Struna (left) in training....

The big news at Centre Nutrilait this morning was the arrival of Kiki Struna at training...

But it wasn’t a case of meeting all his new team-mates. Another three; Sam Piette, Kamal Miller and Joel Waterman departed yesterday for Florida to join up with the Canadian MNT ahead of World Cup qualifiers against Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.

That makes it a total of ten currently away on international when you add, James Pantemis, Zachary Brault-Guillard, Ballou Tabla and Zorhan Bassong (all with Canada’s u23s in Guadalajara), Djordje Mihailovic (USA u23s in Guadalajara), Bjorn Johnsen (Norway) and Mustafa Kizza (Uganda).

Ahmed Hamdy, recently arrived from Cairo, will be isolating for another ten days, and both Lassi Lappalainen and Mathieu Choiniere continue with some ball-work as they recover to full fitness.

Lassi Lappalainen balances the ball. The Finn and Mathieu Choiniere trained together this morning away from the main group.

Still, it’s a far from full squad at the moment with which Wilfried Nancy and his coaching team has to work.

One of the coaches who put in a little extra after the session concluded was Laurent Ciman. Ciman continually pinged long, high balls at the request of Mason Toye who remained behind working on his control and technique.

The Canadian u23 quartet are all in action against Haiti in Guadalajara at 1800 hrs this evening, and undoubtedly the rest of their colleagues from this morning’s training session will be tuning into to cheer them on.

Should Canada prevail and eventually reach the final of the competition, the Montreal lads can rest assured knowing they will have been part of the greatest international achievement by this country since it last won the CONCACAF Gold Cup, some 21 years ago.

Keane Ampadu puts some of the younger players through their paces at Centre Nutrilait this morning...

Check out the latest, The Ball Is Round Podcast (Episode 20). Recorded Wednesday evening, the TBIR team discuss the Montreal captaincy, Henry’s recent UK TV appearance, Gilmore’s CCL comments and describe what the dawning of a new season means to each of them. Plus all the usual favourite features...and a new one... Eve’s Time Machine... Don’t miss it!

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