INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 8, 2016)-- Despite the blustery conditions during practices this week, new Indy Eleven Head Coach Tim Hankinson has enjoyed a warm welcome to Indy.
“Every person I’ve met has been open arms and embracing and excited about this team,” Hankinson said.
Hankinson brought along about a dozen new players to the roster, hoping to bring success to an already excited fan base.
“Because of the fanfare and how the city has turned out to support this group makes it very exciting,” Hankinson said. “The attendance is the best in the nation.”
Three of those new players come to Indy from the Ottowa Fury, which the Eleven will face in Saturday’s home opener.
“I want to get three points for Indy and I’m looking to do big things here and play my part in what Coach Hankinson has brought me here to do,” said defender Colin Falvey, who played for the Fury last season. “I’m sure the other two boys are the same way, and we want to be walking off with a cheeky grin on our face.”
“It’s always nice to face your former team, but their team looks a quite different than it did last year,” midfielder Sinisia Ubiparipovic said. Ubiparipovic played two seasons in Ottowa, playing a pivotal role in helping the Fury win the 2015 NASL Fall Season title.
“It’s always a special game, so I know these guys are pumped up to face their old club and I’m sure the Ottowa players are feeling the same way,” Hankinson said.
The new and veteran players are eager to open the home season and build chemistry with in the young franchise.
“One of the challenges right now is our new players getting to know each other, the little details in their game, figuring each other out,” Hankinson said. “And that’s going to take a series of future matches.”
“We’re looking to build up and build the base going into the season, so at home we can be a team that’s hard to beat,” Ubiparipovic said.
“A lot of players know Indy and the Indy Eleven drawing big crowds year after year since coming into the league, so it’s going to be a nice experience to play for them and not against them this time around,” Falvey said.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm Saturday at Michael A. Carroll Stadium. Ticket information is available here.