Former Riders coaching semi-pro team

I hope no one objects to my posting this here. I've been involved with this in a small capacity since October of last year so it's pretty wild to see it come to fruition so quickly. Frankly, I didn't think we'd be talking about having former Rough Riders coaching the team in its first year. Ken Evraire, Glenn Kulka and Irv Daymond are all part of the staff, with perhaps another or two joining them later.

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Very much looking forward to this. :thup:

While the Ottawa Invaders are a semi-pro team, there’s nothing second-rate about the way they’re approaching their inaugural season in the rock-solid Northern Football Conference.

New football equipment and a star-studded cast of coaches have the Invaders looking good well before they kick off their season May 29 against 14-time league champs, the Oakville Longhorns, at Carleton’s Keith Harris Stadium, their home field.

“When we got together to discuss this, the very first thing out of all of our mouths was we’re not going to run this the way some previous teams here have run it,? says Invaders GM Sean Murphy.

“We’re making sure this is done professionally, the right way. With some of the past teams, the guys were in different helmets. We didn’t want that. We want all our players to have the same quality of shoulder pads, helmets, everything.

“Having (former CFL star) Ken Evraire (as head coach) and his staff on board legitimizes how serious we are about this.?

Other coaches include former CFLers Glenn Kulka and Irv Daymond, Sean McAree and Ken Evraire Sr.

Kulka says the bottom line is producing honest, hard-nosed football.

“You can market the crap out of it,? he says. “But if you can’t play football, that wears off. This should be an event. And it is going to be an event.

‘There’s going to be a standard set here. I’d rather go with four linemen and rotate them than have seven of them, with three of them here just so they can wear the uniform and say they’re an Invader.?

Adds Evraire: “We’re going to play a brand of football that people will want to come and watch and enjoy. There are football fans here. We don’t want to give them apple sauce. We want to give them meat and potatoes.?

Tryouts will get into full swing Sunday at the Superdome in Gloucester (at the Hornets’ Nest off Bearbrook Rd. near Blackburn Hamlet) from 7-9 a.m.

Among the players who look like they could be Invaders are former St. Pat’s High School star and university player Brandon Weekes and former CFLer Marc Dube. They’re also hoping to land former Ottawa Gee-Gees record-setting QB Josh Sacobie.

There’s a non-refundable $75 tryout fee. For players who make the team, there’s an additional $350 fee.

The team began as a means for former Cumberland Panthers Erik Faucon and James McAllister to continue playing. Through word of mouth and Facebook popularity, Murphy and Richard Smith II heard about it and jumped on board. Faucon and McAllister quickly found out there were several other local players looking to keep playing football. And it was full steam ahead from there.

The NFC plays by Canadian rules, with a couple of exceptions. It is four-down football and there is no one-yard neutral zone along the line of scrimmage.

The Invaders are offering season-ticket packages of $150 and $200 (with various perks attached to each). Game-day prices are $7 for general admission, $10 for upper-level reserved seating between the 45-yard lines, kids under 12 get in for $4 and kids under 18 get in free if they’re wearing their NCAFA or high school jersey.

There will be a high school skills camp on Aug. 29, with the Invaders hosting an Ontario-Quebec all-star game that night. The team will host Invasion Night on April 10, a pub at the Great Canadian Cabin, as a fundraiser.

That's great to see. Proof that interest in football is still high in Ottawa.