In the comment section below or on whatever social media channel you are reading this story on, please respond with a list of professional sports team General Managers you have sat down and had an hour long chat with. FC Edmonton General Manager Jay Ball brings my grand total to one!
The first story published about FC Edmonton here on Win Column by myself was the admittance that I am not a soccer guy but am a season ticket holder. If you are asking yourself how that makes sense the answer is simple. Whether it be GM Jay Ball, new coach Jeff Paulus, or any employee of the Eddies, they are out in the community trying to include everyone in the fun. Wednesday night was a prime example as the Eddies hosted a member meet and greet at the Old Town Pub. This was not an event that merely had the team name and colours splashed over top of it, this was the heart and soul of the team bonding with its fans. There were all the handshakes and baby kissing of a political race but this was genuine.
— Jay Ball (@JayBallYeg) June 11, 2018
Sports elicit emotion. The above tweet was shortly after the Eddies were “resurrected” and shows the genuine elation felt by GM Jay Ball. Obviously the atmosphere at the Old Town Pub on Wednesday was a bit more subdued but the “who are ya” chant by the Supporters in attendance when the “ticket unicorns” were introduced would have won over any non-FC Edmonton ticket holders who happened to be at the pub. There is no sporting event in Edmonton like an FC Edmonton game. You need to experience it to believe it.
Here are the three questions that were asked “on the record” to Ball:
- 1) You are hired as FC Edmonton general manager in February 2016. The premature announcement of the death of FC Edmonton is made November 2017. The rise of the yeg4cpl movement helped lead to the announced return of the Eddies back in June. Please sir, describe your feelings throughout the roller coaster ride that has been your tenure as the Eddies general manager.
The Jay Ball Ride – > The Jay Ball Ride (1:34) (4220ab91-2e3c-43e8-8df1-20ec28fae719)
- 2) I recently asked Nathan and Adam of the Loyal Company of the River Valley podcast “If you worked for the Eddies, how would you promote the team?” Obviously you won’t spill any secrets but sir, the floor is yours with that question because the answers are surely different today promoting the team in the CPL as compared to promoting the team in the NASL.
These are your Eddies! – >Recording 3 (0d6e35a7-c34b-4290-8ca3-14f4ba87c76d)
- 3) Describe the excitement behind the battle of Alberta now having a soccer edition?
Battle of Alberta -> Recording 4 (415891c0-b891-490d-9da1-8967ae1366c5)
Sound bites are being used instead of paraphrased statements because in each answer you feel a sports fan answering the question. Too often you get cliche answers and canned responses, that is not what you get from Mr. Ball. Listening to the responses you would not know if Jay is wearing a suit or a jersey! This is real to him. This is real to the FC Edmonton faithful. You have got to catch a game!
There will be more…
The questions running through your mind are who is going to play for FC Edmonton? What are the available player pools and how will they be dispersed among the teams?
Yes I asked those questions, stay tuned, the answers are coming!