Mirror-Guardian: North York Astros Prepare
May 7th, 2002.
North York Astros prepare to play
Sam Laskaris, Mirror Sports
The North York Astros are gearing up for another Canadian Professional Soccer League season.
To prepare for the regular season, the Astros have spent the past three weekends participating in the annual Peniche Community Centre's tournament in Toronto.
All matches in the eight-team tournament were staged at Toronto's Lamport Stadium. The Astros could not finish any higher than fifth in the event after they dropped their first tournament game, 2-0 against another CPSL squad, the York Region Shooters.
North York did manage to secure a fifth-place finish by winning their final two tournament matches. The Astros defeated Peniche 4-3 late last month and then beat a Bradford team 5-1 this past Sunday.
The tourney featured three CPSL squads as well as five others that competed in area amateur circuits.
So far North York has inked 11 players to contracts for the 2002 campaign.
"We're not looking so much for star players," Bruno Ierullo, Astros general manager said. "We're looking for players with a good attitude, good physical conditioning and good technique. If they have that, then we can make the rest of it work."
The Astros kick off their regular season May 31 with a road match against London City.
North York's home opener is scheduled for June 16 at Esther Shiner Stadium versus the Mississauga Olympians.
The Astros will have some new coaches this season. Dejan Gluscevic, who played for the club last year, will be a player coach this year. He'll be a forward when not calling shots from the sidelines.
His co-coach will be Pavel Zaslavski, the Astros goalie coach a year ago. Zaslavski's son Arthur also returns as one of the Astros netminders this season.
After a promising start, North York posted a disappointing 7-12-3 record last year and finished in a tie for ninth place with Oshawa's Durham Flames in the then 12-team league.
The CPSL has expanded to 14 clubs this season.
North York is in the Western Conference along with London City, Mississauga, St. Catharines Roma Wolves, Toronto Croatia, Brampton Hitmen and the expansion Hamilton Thunder.
The Eastern Conference consists of the Flames, Shooters, Montreal Dynamites, Ottawa Wizards, Vaughan Sun Devils, Toronto Supra and the Metro Lions, a Scarborough-based first-year franchise.
Four teams will participate in the league's playoff action.
"The final objective is to be in the playoffs and to win the playoffs," Ierullo said.
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