Highlanders hope to stymie front-running Foothills FC

“We’ve spent time on our defence and I think we’ve put that to bed,” said Highlanders head coach Dave Dew.

He pointed to Montgomery, a Nanaimo native who will bear watching as his NCAA career unfolds, as being the stabilizing influence on the back end.

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“It’s defence first for us . . . stay focused and take care of business back there,” said Dew.

“We’ll take advantage of our scoring opportunities when we get them.”

The Highlanders (2-1-2) are in Calgary for games tonight and Sunday against PDL Northwest Division-leading Foothills FC.

Calgary is 3-1 on the season, including a 2-0 victory against the Highlanders last month at Centennial Stadium.

“[Foothills FC] plays well as a team,” said Dew.

“Their players are mostly CIS players from the University of Calgary, Mount Royal, University of Lethbridge, and few from Edmonton, and they know each other and interact well.”

Calgary captain Jonathan Wheeldon, an English central defender out of Hungerford Town and a former Exeter youth player who had played in Belgium for Royal Racing Club Montegnee, gives the Foothills another dimension.

Wheeldon makes Calgary tough to break down, said Dew.

When Calgary has the ball, Dew said the Highlanders have to guard against fouling the Foothills.

“We can’t give away set pieces against this Calgary team,” noted the Victoria bench boss.

“They are very good at them.”

CORNER KICKS: As a condition of entering the PDL last season, Foothills must pay the airfares to Calgary of all visiting teams . . . The Highlanders are in Redmond to play the Washington Crossfire on June 17 and in Seattle to take on Sounders U-23 on June 19 . . . The next Highlanders home dates are back-to-back fixtures at Centennial Stadium against the Crossfire on June 25-26.

cdheensaw@timescolonist.com

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