Former youth soccer prodigy Gerardo Bruna, he of Real Madrid, Liverpool and Spain academy fame, made a surprise appearance at the first session of Ottawa Fury training camp this morning at Brancheau-Brière complex in Gatineau, Québec.
Bruna was signed by the Fury in January, but at the time of the announcement it was understood that he would only join the squad following the end of his current club Accrington Stanley’s season and after the NASL summer break, in July. However, eagle-eyed observers were able to spot the young Spaniard at training this morning, and ask head coach Paul Dalglish about it following practice. “We managed to agree with Accrington to get him here early,” said Dalglish. “We’re really pleased that we managed to do that for pre-season and really thankful to them for allowing us to get it done.”
Bruna spoke to reporters after practice, and spoke about his excitement in being able to join the squad in pre-season. “Paul (Dalglish) made a big effort to try and get me here before the season begins. I’m really happy to start with the team now. The best thing for me was to come now, especially since I started training in June (2015) and if I was going to come in July (2016) it was going to be a very long season for me. Once Paul spoke to the club and they agreed a deal, he told me to get some rest so I can be 100% for the whole season here.”
- Paulo Junior and Onua Obasi were the only players not present at the first practice of the season. According to Dalglish, Junior is working out some visa issues and Obasi is finishing up his indoor season with the Baltimore Blast.
- Mauro Eustaquio reflected on all the new faces for the Fury: “There’s only three of us left from day one (along with Marcel de Bellis and Carl Haworth). Now we all we have to do is sweat out what we did in the off-season and take care of business.”
- Eustaquio on the new Under Armor balls: “I like them, and if I didn’t I’d just have to get used to them, right? (laughing) Actually, I think they’re better than last year’s (Voit) balls.”
- The Fury were sporting their new Adidas training kits, on the same day the club announced the German equipment giant would be supplying the Fury’s 2016 kits.
- Bruna was asked if the pressure of being called the “Spanish Messi” while a teenager had been too much too soon for him: “No, that’s the media, and I don’t control what the media says. It seems everyone is the “New Maradona” or the “New Messi” these days.”