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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Familiar Faces Returning to the Silverbacks? - By Taylor Peyton

The first Set of Tryout dates at Silverbacks Park has come and gone. They took place at 9 am on December 20th and 21st. As you would expect, not many people showed up. However, there were some familiar faces in attendance. One of them being photographer Dave Williamson who took a few pictures at the tryouts. Members of last year’s Silverbacks team that were present included Abdul Bangura, Abraham Lansana, Kemar Brown, Fabio Fernandes, and Avery Shepherd.

There still are tryout dates left, but given the number of players from last year’s team at the first dates, it leads fans to believe that the core of the 2017 Silverbacks won’t be too different from that of the 2016 Silverbacks. Last Year's captain Mitch Garcia has gone, but apart from that, there haven’t been any significant moves by Silverbacks players that have been announced by the club.

Given his history with the Silverbacks Reserves, as well as the first team in the NASL days, Abdul Bangura seems like a likely candidate to take over the captaincy in Garcia absence. It was reported that he was supposed to be the captain last year but ended up missing the entire season due to injury. Obviously, the decision is in the hands of Phoday, and/or the Coaching staff, and the roster is still taking shape, but Bangura as captain seems like a reasonable guess.

To say that the Silverbacks have gone through high turnover the last few years would be an understatement, but if the Silverbacks can retain a big part of last year’s team, it will make it easier to build on the success of last year’s team. The Silverbacks new opponents in the Southeast are bound to make the Silverbacks path to a Conference Championship more difficult, and the season is still very far away, but given the talented players that are most likely coming back, and Phoday’s sharp eye for talent,  there just might be reason to believe that the Silverbacks can compete in the new Southeast Conference.

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