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Celtic Poker Night II Set For April 24th
Pocket Aces and Poker Faces
 
Saturday, April 24th will see the second, and final, poker night fundraiser for this year's edition of the Saskatoon Celtic FC Invitational. The first poker installment raised an amazing $1000 thanks to the hard work of the poker night volunteers (Darren, Gareth, Jessie, Toni, Niran, and Jeff) as well as the excellent set up by tournament organizer, and Das Boots footballer, Lee Kormish.
 
Ticket info will be coming out shortly. In the mean time, keep checking back to the site for both tournament and poker night updates. We really need at least 8 volunteers for this time around, so if you could spare a good 3 to 4 hours that Saturday night, please let Jeff know and he'll set things up with you.

Celtic FC Poker Night Accounced
Bring out your hooks, crooks, and one-eyed Jacks
 
The first Celtic FC Poker Night is set for Saturday, February 27th at Manchesters Bar & Grill on 33rd and Idylwyld. The poker tourney is in support of the upcoming 2010 Saskatoon Celtic FC Invitational, which is slated to take place from May 28th - 30th at the Sasktel Sports Center. Details regarding the Celtic Invitational will be released in the coming weeks.
 
The poker tourney will be a knock-out format, with unlimited re-buys for the first hour. Players with low chip-counts will have the option of topping up their chips (buying back to the starting chip count) at the end of the first hour. After the first hour has passed, players will play until all but one have been knocked out.
 
Buy-in, re-buys, and topping up will all cost $20 each. There will also be a 50/50 raffle draw running throughout the night. Prices for 50/50 tickets will be $2 for 1, $5 for 3, and $10 for 10.
 
The top four finishers minimum will be guaranteed main prize packages, while the next ten finishers (5th - 14th) minimum will be guarateed runner-up prize packages. The 50/50 raffle will feature not only the chance to win the pot, but also the chance to win prize packages, one of which will feature an NHL jersey.
 
Tickets for the Celtic FC Poker Tournament are now available for $20 (the buy-in). Please contact Jeff Salisbury at 370 7930 to purchase tickets.

 

New YouTube Page Up
Time for videos galore!
 
The new Saskatoon Celtic FC YouTube page is up and running, currently featuring videos taken during the inaugural Saskatoon Celtic FC Invitational. Regular season videos will eventually find their way on to the page, and random scenes from the 3rd Saskatoon Celtic Golf Classic could be a future possibility to be featured on the video site as well. Check out our new Youtube page for all the videos.

 

2009 Saskatoon Celtic FC Invitational Wraps Up
Inaugural tourney complete success despite the efforts of Mother Nature
 
The inaugural Saskatoon Celtic FC Invitational ended as a complete success, working out almost better than originally planned. A hotly contested women's semi-final was followed by the last two round robin games for the men's competition, the second of which ended up being the deciding showdown for the men's championship.
 
All pictures and videos taken during the weekend will be uploaded to the Saskatoon Celtic FC Invitational 2009 page of the Pics & Vids section. Full write-ups of tournament highlights and the final games will be posted throughout the week on the main page of the Tournament section.
 
We'd like to thank all participants, referees, Len Chelack, and the Sasktel Sports Center (Jodi, Sean, and the other staff) for having helped us throughout the build-up to and during the tournament weekend. We look forward to hosting the tourney next year. You can help by filling out a quick survey that can be found on the main Tournament page.

 

One Day Left To Decide Champions
First two days of action see close decisions with a few landslides thrown in for good measure
 
The first two days of the inaugural Saskatoon Celtic FC Invitational have been mixed bags of close games and torrential landslide victories. The two visiting teams seem to be on opposite sides of the fence when it comes to this, as FC Elite of the Battlefords remain undefeated while the Vintage Rec's of Swift Current haven't been able to find the back of the net quite yet.
 
Our very own Saskatoon Celtic has done a complete 360 when it comes to form, losing their two Saturday clashes while pulling out a tight victory with second half goals in their Friday night clash agaist the Roughnecks. The scores of the Saturday games are too hideous to be shown, as they may traumatize young children and thrust suicidal tendencies on the easily depressed. To see the scores, check out the men's and women's Table & Results pages.
 
The race for the Golden Boot awards has also heated up. While the men's side boasts a single front runner, the women's side is still wide open... if you play for Arauco FC, who are the only women's team to have scored yet in the women's competition. Kelly Halter, with five goals for FC Elite, has a two goal advantage over the next set of players who are sitting at three a piece. The women's golden boot is currently tied between Willow Genesis and Shannon Clermont, both of Arauco FC. Arauco FC has won their way to the direct 1st place seed in the women's final, so there is still time for a new challenger for the Golden Boot to show herself from either North Ridge or the Rec's.

 

New Photos Added To Pics & Vids Section
Videos coming soon...
 
The Pics & Vids section has finally been updated with some photos of the hardware that will be doled out at the completion of the inaugural Saskatoon Celtic FC Invitational, which takes place from Friday, August 14th to Sunday, August 16th at the Sasktel Sports Center. Much thanks to be given to Marc Chaharyn, who has a cameo in all of the cup pictures.

 

New Tournament Logo Unveiled
SCFCI receives a Cher-like facelift (Yikes!)

scfcithumbnail.jpg

A new logo was unveiled at a grand ceremony last night in Jeff's head. Media from around the globe gathered to witness the unveiling, and later exclaimed: "They just ripped off the real Celtic crest... again!" The inaugural edition of the tournament was without a logo design up until the last minute, when the Tournament Organizing Committee decided it was time to give a face to the competition.
 
"The tournament is filling up nicely," stated SCFCI Director Jeff Salisbury. "We were getting a bit anxious, but a recent influx of teams and individual players knocking at the door has calmed any worry of an opening year flop."
 
Using tactics such as showing up to games at the SSC half cut and reeking like a bar washroom, the TOC has managed to bring in teams not only from our fair city, but from the Battlefords and Swift Current. Regina, who have obviously remained silent due to fear of coming up against a Saskatoon side, have yet to enter a team. Perhaps if Regina men's sides were allowed into the women's competition, that wouldn't be the case.

 

Where's The Beef?

Celtic 2   FC Con Carne 3

 

Monday night featured another page in the rivalry against perenially strong FC Con Carne. The Carnies were looking to avenge a lopsided loss to the Hoops from earlier in the season, where Celtic ran the Blue and Reds ragged around the pitch to a 4-0 victory. They were without stand-out player Joel Puetz for that game, and it showed clearly how much of an influence he is on the Beef-Eaters's performance. Joel was in the line-up this time, however, and Celtic know all too well how dangerous he can be on the attack. With a low sub count for both teams, the match was sure to be more of a possession game than a run-and-gun fest.

 

The opening whistle saw Con Carne with first possession, which was quickly turned over to the Hoops outside their box. The first few forays into Con Carne territory ended quickly with a missed pass or a wayward lob, but eventually Celtic caught the Carnies in a rare instance of disorganization, which led to a scoring chance and an eventual corner. The first corner of the game saw Celtic fail to produce, but after regaining possession of the ball in Con Carne's end, Trent Carr managed to run down a short lob into the right corner, move it back towards the box, and send a low pass in towards Don Wright. While the chance was available to Don, he was called off the ball by Jeff Salisbury, who had made a hard sprint into the box. Jeff's low shot sailed just wide of the short post, an opportunity Celtic would later realize could have completely changed the tide of the game. The half wore on with both sides trading chances, but it was Con Carne who would next come close to breaking the game open. Joel acted as the architect and absolutely burned both Jeff and Sadj Abolhassani on the right wing. After just getting past Tyrell Preiss, who had forced Joel's run a slight bit further wide, Joel smashed a low cross towards the goal, but Matt Reimer was able to deal with the threatning ball. Celtic seemed to lose their grip on the game, as Con Carne began to make more penetrating runs towards the Hoops's goal. After a few broken attempts, Con Carne made the breakthrough on a lucky ball that played ping-pong in Celtic's box before landing on the foot of Con Carne's #19, who barely dribbled a ball over the line. Celtic defender Darren Klassen nearly managed to make a goal-line clearance, but he was a second too late, as the ball slowly bounced into the right corner. Not long after, Con Carne was able to double their lead after regaining possession at midfield. Another instance of pinball occured, allowing the Carnies to once again pounce on a chance in close, beating Matt to make it 2-0. Celtic was unable to answer back before half, but they weren't far from making a breakthrough and were not being outplayed by any means.

 

The second half began relatively quietly, as neither side seemed willing to push the ball outside of midfield. Attempts were made, but squandered or easily cut out. Con Carne provided the first real chance of the half as a lobbed pass over the top of the Celtic back line allowed a Carnie striker to push towards goal, but his effort was quickly neutralized by Tyrell. Celtic finally managed to pull one back not long after the Con Carne chance, as Curtis Anton pounced on a Con Carne defensive miscue. Jeff Salisbury was pressing the Carnie center-backs, which caused them to make a pass back to their keeper. The subsequent pass out to the left back caused confusion between the center-backs, which allowed Curtis to sprint past them and put a one-on-one attempt past the panicking Carnie keeper. This seemed to spring some life back into the green and white, as momentum found its way back to the Hoops. Sometimes momentum can turn against you, which is exactly what happened as Celtic’s aggressive defending awarded Con Carne with a free kick from 24 yards. The stoppage in play gave the Celtic backline a chance to nap, allowing a floated free-kick to be headed in by an unmarked Carnie striker, restoring Con Carne’s two goal lead. At 3-1, Celtic were left in their comatose state until a late opportunity materialized for Don Wright, who’s half-volley from just inside the Beef-Eater box eluded the leaping Carnie keeper, reducing the deficit to 3-2. This was all Celtic had left in the tank, however, as the Carnies managed to retain possession for the remainder of the match. With the final whistle blown, the Carnie’s were able to avenge their early season defeat and Celtic was left to lament a game gone wrong.

 

Celtic’s next match is on Monday, August 10th against the aptly named Stickman Clan, which features a number of ex-Celtic players in Travis Bender, Matt Hartery, and Dustin Pollon. The Clan has been having a rough season, only managing two wins since May. They have been picking up a bit of steam lately, posting better results since the beginning of the second half of the season. Celtic’s last clash with the Orangemen produced a vastly lopsided 8-2 victory with 7 different players adding their names to the scoresheet. Gareth Emerson had an outstanding match, notching two on the evening. The game will take place at 6:30 at tiny Ashley trenches. See you there.

 

Kick-off Beer Night To Feature Group Stage Draw
Possible drinking competitions mentioned
 
The Kick-off Beer Night, which will take place on Friday, August 7th at Winston's Pub, will feature the draw for the group stage of the Saskatoon Celtic FC Invitational. The group stage draw will be modified so that out-of-town teams can only be placed into the B pools of both the Men's and Women's competitions. This decision has been made to ensure that teams driving in for the tournament will have ample time to arrive for their first game on Friday night. Our beloved Saskatoon Celtic will automatically be placed in Pool A Spot 1.
 
Please get the word out about the beer night. The all you can drink beer is being offered for $10 a person. Door prizes and a 50/50 draw will be offered along with hijinx and any other alcohol-fueled entertainment. If you have any suggestions for the beer night, please email Jeff.

 

Hoops Derby A Dirty Affair

Celtic 2   Fighting Cocks 0

 

Monday night featured the second installment of this season's Hoops Derby, which was battled out against the similarly clad Fighting Cocks. Previous Hoops Derbies have featured youngsters Maher-Salal-HasBas, who are taking on Men's Div. 4 this outdoor season. In the last meeting between Celtic and the Weenies, neither side could out-muster the other, seeing the match end in a hard-fought 1-1 draw. Both sides traded close chances, but neither could find a finishing blow on the night. The latest installment was played out on the artificial turf of the Sasktel Sports Center’s Kinsmen field, which will be one of the two fields used at the inaugural Saskatoon Celtic FC Invitational, which takes place next month from Friday 14th to Sunday 16th. After a brief warm-up, both sides took to the field to prove who deserved to don the Celtic colours.

 

Celtic decided on their second hit, wearing the more breathable solid greens, while their counterparts chose the classic hoops. Immediately upon the opening whistle the action heated up. Both sides were well aware of how closely they compared in overall skill level and tactical competence, and therefore cancelled out each other’s early forays. While early chances were hard to come by, hard tackles were easy to come by. By the midway point of the half, ref Mark Clark had to reach into his pocket, showing Jeff Salisbury a yellow card for goonery. After possession was stolen away outside the Weenie box, three Battling Hens began to push forward a strong counter-attack. In an effort to halt a dangerous break-out, Jeff capitulated a professional goon foul that was met with a few laughs from the Celtic bench. While a few chances to produce on both sides ended closely, none could break the 0-0 deadlock the two teams took to half time.

 

The second half continued with the same intensity as the first, adding to both team’s bookings and offering even closer chances. As the clock counted down, the tempers began to heat up. After a few questionable fouls at mid-field, the yellow cards began piling up for both teams. Chirping from both teams resulted in many dissension cards handed out. At around the 65th minute, a Celtic chance found its way off the crossbar, leading to a frenzy in front of the Fighting Cocks goal. Not long after, a shot from outside the box bounced off the top of the Celtic crossbar, but Matt Reimer would tell you he had it covered all the way. Finally, in the 80th minute, a Celtic set play actually managed to materialize, seeing a quick free kick from just outside the left side of the box rolled to Tom Oakes, who made no mistake on the first time shot, blasting it through traffic and finding the bottom right corner of goal, making it 1-0. The Battling Hens did what they could to even the score, but most of the play remained in their end. Henry Brkic came close on two different occasions to adding to the tally, having one of his first time strikes from outside the box blocked, and the other one sailing wide of the mark. Celtic removed all doubt of the outcome when Don Wright found himself as Johnny-on-the-spot, easily poking a loose ball into a gaping goal, cementing the victory at 2-0. With the final whistle blown, Celtic could walk off the field knowing they had rightly claimed the proper right to wear the hoops.

 

Man of the match honours were given to Sadj Abolhassani, who sacrificed the body on numerous occasions to ensure Celtic kept possession. He also laid off a perfect ball for Tom to him for the first goal, and defensively stopped many of the Fighting Cocks counter-attacks.

 

Celtic’s next match is against perennial rivals FC Con Carne, who have barreled their way to the top of the table since an early season loss to none other than our beloved Hoops. Kick-off is set for 7 p.m. at Lakewood. It should be noted that Con Carne’s Joel Puetz, who leads the league in goals, and a new addition, Mojtaba Sharifi, are expected to take to the field. Both players have torn up their opposition in recent games, and neither were present for the first match against Celtic back in early June. This one is sure to be a cracker!

 

Celtic Win Réal
Celtic 3   Galacticos 1
 
With a thunderstorm looming in the distance, Monday night played host to some thunder and lightning on the pitch as Celtic came up against the boys in black, Galacticos. Both teams have been struggling in league play lately, as neither has posted a positive result in two games. Celtic was coming off a disappointing performances against the African Cup of Nations side Intermelan and the Roughnecks, while Galacticos dropped their last two encounters against league-leading Spartans and the orangemen The Stickman Clan. With Celtic finally having more than the starting 11 show up before kick-off, things might finally move back in their favour.
 
The Hoops won the flip, and wasted no time in taking advantage of first possession, as no more than 3 minutes had passed before the green and white found themselves on the score board. With the ball chipped forward to Don Wright, who was starting up top on the left side, Don put a pass in to the left corner for Jeff Salisbury to run down. Jeff's subsequent cross fell into a menagerie of black and green and white. A blocked shot by Stu Robertson trickled to one of the Galacticos defenders, who, upon making a clearance attempt, had the ball booted straight into his own goal by one of his defensive team mates. The early high wore off after a few scoring attempts fizzled out before the halfway point of the first half. Soon the Hoops fell into complacency, and the Boys in Black began to get some momentum back. Matt Reimer was forced to sacrifice his body at one point, sliding out to barely beat a Galacticos striker to a ball at the top of the box. After nearly shattering his jewels, Matt took a brief rest on the bench to catch both his breath and his voice, allowing Mike Jones to continue his personal shut-out streak for all of 10 minutes. It could be argued the green and white were lucky to get out of the first half up 1-0.
 
The second half resumed similarly to how the first half had ended. While Celtic showed a slight bit more resolve, Galacticos kept up the pressure, and soon found themselves equalizing the game at 1-1. This seemed to spark the Hoops back to life, as possession and momentum shifted in their favour at times unquestionably. After missing the previous few games, Marco Demelo marked his return in cracking fashion. Upon gaining possession of the ball outside the Galacticos box, Marco skillfully dribbled his way into shooting position and let go a missile with his right that easily screamed past the diving Réal keeper to make it 2-1. Not long after, Paul Trimble added to his season's tally, putting his first of the match home to make it 3-1. The rest of the half was seemingly one way traffic, with the Kids in Black unable to offer penetrating runs let alone string more than two passes together. At match's end, Celtic was able to claim another win, bringing their season's record to 7-4-1, good enough for fourth spot in the table.
 
Celtic's next match will be against Hoop rivals Fighting Cocks. The last meeting between these doppelgangars ended in an unsatisfying 1-1 draw. Unfinished business should make for a tight, close game. The match takes place at the Kinsmen artificial field at 7 p.m.

 

All Work and No Play
Celtic 0   Intermelan 3
 
It was a tough go for Celtic against African Cup of Nations squad Intermelan. The green and white were unable to capitalize on the few chances that they created, while the spelling-challenged boys in red managed three goals on arguably three very lucky situations. After playing a very even, back-and-forth 30 minutes, Melan capitalized on a lucky turnover as one of their strikers managed to barely get a boot on a Mike Jones clearance. The ball was then layed off to the right midfielder, who was able to barely get a shot off, beating Matt Reimer in goal to make it 1-0.
 
The second goal came less than 10 minutes later, as a botched cross had a bit of help from a gust of wind to fool Matt in goal and barely loop over top of his hands, just under the bar. The 2-0 scoreline seemed to deflate the Hoops, who found themselves pinned in their own half for the rest of the first half.
 
The second half started at the same pace that the first ended with, seeing Melan with a majority of possession. Celtic began to come on stronger around the midpoint of the half, but yet again a lucky strike saw Matt getting beat near post, making it 3-0. This could not have happened at a worse time, as Celtic had just about pulled one back through a Paul Trimble break-away and a low-driving shot by Jeff Salisbury. Down by three with time running out, the green and white struggled to find a footing to build off of. The full time whistle ended yet another debacle against Melan.
 
Celtic's next match sees the Hoops come up against youth team turned men's side Galacticos. The Kids in Black have started to pick up the pace as of late, pulling themselves from the bottom of the table with a couple of low-scoring wins. The game will take place at Newsham 4 at 7 p.m. See everyone there.

 

Celtic Invitational Adds 8 Team Women's Competition
Tournament kick-off beer night added too!
 
The inaugural Saskatoon Celtic FC Invitational will now be divided into an 8 team Men's competition and an 8 team Women's competition. After careful deliberation, the decision was made to add the women's competition due in part by the outcry from some of the women's teams during the pre-season outdoor meeting. Tournament director Jeff Salisbury seemed pleased with the announcement.
 
"I'm pleased with the announcement," Director Rookie said after the press conference, which was attended by all the Miis on his Wii, a cherry whiskey highball, and his cat. "Adding the women's competition might help my chances at getting some action during that weekend, as well as show that we were listening during the pre-season meeting. I hope that we can get a full compliment of teams for both competitions, this could be the start of a great annual event."
 
The SCFCI is slated to begin play at 6 p.m. on Friday, August 14th. The hosts will face a yet to be drawn team in the first ever match on the TCU field, while the other two teams drawn into Pool A will face off at the same time on Kinsmen.
 
In more important news, a Kick-off beer night has been arranged through Winston's English Pub for Friday, August 7th. It will happen from 7 - 9 p.m. on the main level. Entry to the all you can drink event is $10.
 
Saskatoon Celtic FC Invitational
Friday, August 14th - Sunday, August 16th
Sasktel Sports Center, Saskatoon
For more information please click the Tournament link under the navigation bar.
 
Kick-off Beer Night
Friday, August 7th
7 - 9 p.m.
Winston's English Pub
Tickets are $10

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Hail, hail, the Celts are here!