September 20, 2002 Rocket Robin's comments about the CPSL Hamilton Thunder situation

Let's see what I can remember about some off field news I was offered tonight now that I'm getting so well known around the CPSL circuit this year.

I got up to Highland Park in Aurora about half hour early and was waiting for the game sheets to copy into my notes. I said hello to Hamilton owner Italo Ferrari and asked for any details of the Thunder vs Vaughan Sun Devils game from Tuesday. Thunder missed three early chances, Sun Devils scored early and then played eleven men back to hang on. Not a surprise to me as I've seen Vaughan use this strategy. This 1-1 tie meant Vaughan advances to the Canada Cup tournament semifinals and Thunder are out. My question "Why was the Cup tournament moved from Hamilton to London? " The deal with Brian Timmis Stadium is if the CFL football Hamilton Tigercats play on the weekend next door at Ivor Wynne Stadium, the Thunder can't play the day of the game, the day before the game, or the day after the game at Brian Timmis because of all the cable and audio equipment and trucks parked there for broadcasting set up. They could have played the Saturday semi-final at Brian Timmis but not the Sunday final. That was scheduled at Mohawk College but CPSL officials didn't think the quality of the facility was good enough so it was moved to the "worst field in the league in London".

Next four guys said hello to me. They looked familiar but I wasn't sure who they were (and I think for retaliation reasons I'll leave these Thunder players names out of this). Most senior members have boycotted the team tonight for unpaid salaries. Wow some many facts thrown at me! They haven't been paid in three months. St Catharines hasn't even paid the transfer fees to get five players over from the Wolves at the beginning of the season. The league hasn't been payed. "The stadium?" I ask. Nope! but owner Italo Ferrari is friends with the Hamilton mayor so they haven't been locked out yet. Something like $135000 in team debts right now. German head coach Marko Maschice has resigned (a brilliant mind who I saw at many neutral site fields scouting opposing teams during the season). For legal reasons these four had to show up but they weren't allowed to play. Goaltender Dino Perri didn't come. The backup goalie and owner's son Rob Ferrari was the starter. Many of the players were from the Under 21 team. League president Vince Ursini met when the team was still together on Tuesday.

The game was in the second half when Italo Ferrari came over to comment that his young team was playing their hearts out. Yes I've got to admit that, even at full time they could have won or tied. He said it was too complicated to get into why he was using such a young team. OK.

I know this story isn't over! I'm sure I'll pick up some more points. On a personal note times have sure changed from when nobody knew who I was.

Rocket Robin

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