Canada

Canada hits international men’s football map: Grant Needham

The former Montreal Impact star says Canada has come a long way since playing for the men’s national team in the early 1990s.

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Despite Canada’s early withdrawal from the World Cup in Qatar, Grant Needham is bullish about the future of Canada’s men’s football. , says Canada has come a long way.

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“We should celebrate that the world has seen Canada play on the biggest stage. We can only get better.” Career.

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“It won’t take us another 36 years to qualify for the World Cup again.”

Needham, 52, is currently involved in football at the local level as the sporting director of Pointe Clair football club.

Although Canada were eliminated from the World Cup after losing to Belgium and Croatia in the group stage, he said they had proven they deserve to be on the biggest stage in football.

“This is the best[men’s]team Canada has ever produced. But it’s the most talented team Canada has ever had, and they have a man (Alphonso Davies) touted as the best left-back on the planet. Never before.

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“So there are positives, like the first goal. And to play against the number two country in the world (Belgium) and deserve a better result is a positive.”

Needham said he would not be embarrassed to lose to the ‘outstanding’ Croatia, who are ranked 12th in FIFA. He said Canada, ranked 41st, is in a tough group. “We were the minnows of this group,” he said.

Canada concludes the World Cup on Thursday with a match against world number 21 Morocco. Needham said Canada needs to regroup for results before returning home.

“Against Morocco, I have to go out and say that there is no pressure, there is no progress. Now is the time to give others the experience of playing at this level. Please play with the We’ve done enough to show the world that we belong here.

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Needham said the Canadian young men’s team bodes well for the future.

“We forget how young they are. Seven or eight players under 24. Davis is 22. Those are the players who will be there in four years.”

Canada played through most of their opening game against Belgium, but Needham said they need to close the gap if they are to beat the best opponents in the world. Canadian fitness he noted that his level, tactics and finishing were not up to par.

“Croatia created four or five chances and scored four goals. Canada created chances against Belgium but didn’t have that killer instinct.”

Needham said Canadian coach John Hardman has put the men’s team on the international football map.

“Hardman has turned it around. He is producing these players now. Yes, it’s not taking anything away from MLS, but it’s not on the same level as[European football]and if you put them in the European leagues, you’ll see a lot of growth in the players.”

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Needham is also growing at the grassroots level in Nishijima.

“I’ve seen giant inscriptions on children. Football is recovering from the pandemic,” he said. “We have about 2,200 players at Pointclair.”

“There is more structure and clubs are becoming more professional in the way they do business. In terms of player development, we are developing more players at higher levels. The recipe is how to develop elite players. ?Work is still underway to develop top talent.”

Former Montreal Impact player Grant Needham is now the sporting director of Pointe Clair football club.
Former Montreal Impact player Grant Needham is now the sporting director of Pointe Clair football club. Photo by John Mahoney /Montreal Gazette

jmeagher@postmedia.com

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Canada hits international men’s football map: Grant Needham

Source link Canada hits international men’s football map: Grant Needham

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