Danny Maciocia repeats it loud and clear: with just as much talent he aims his arrows at Quebecers. That will still be the watchword in the rematch next Tuesday.
Posted on April 29
“I can already imagine Tuesday, when it will be our turn for the 4 . to speakand and 13and rows, people will say, “They’ll probably go local.” We are going local because we think we have strong players here,” the general manager said bluntly during a virtual meeting with the media on Friday morning.
According to the latest ranking from the CFL recruiting agency, 3 Quebecers are among the top 20 prospects for the May 3 draft: Defensive defender Enock Makonzo (8and rank), wide receiver Samuel Émilius (11and rank) and offensive lineman Cyrille Hogan-Saindon (18and rank).
“The philosophy here is that we will always choose the best player. But with the same talent, we will always fish locally,” Maciocia reiterated.
I believe there is excellent talent here. There are many more young people from here getting scholarships south of the border.
Danny Maciocia, General Manager of the Alouettes
Another aspect that the Montreal organization has taken into consideration: local players are more likely to stay with the team once their entry-level contract has expired. This is a reality common to all markets, the CEO recalls.
“There is something good about playing in your backyard, for your family and friends, while wearing the uniform. All the players I interviewed on Tuesday have AC. seen [Anthony Calvillo] player.
“If you prepare your roster as we are doing now for Tuesday, those are the kind of conversation starters that we have for all the players in this province. For equal talent, I think it’s much easier to keep the player here. Fans will agree with him.” and that’s what we’re looking for as an organization, rather than bring in an outside player, get him to sign an entry-level contract, but see him return home after two or three years, which is understandable.”
Before joining the Birds as general manager in 2020, Danny Maciocia served as the head coach of the Université de Montréal Carabins for nine seasons. He met young players a shovel full. And that’s quite an advantage over other teams on the track, he thinks.
“It’s an advantage I’ll probably have for a few more years,” he says. It’s big, especially for players who chose not to come [avec les Carabins] because I probably went to their living room, to their kitchen, I probably talked to their mother. I probably know their situation better than others [équipes au] country.
“I think that was even more of an advantage during the two years of the pandemic, when we didn’t have the evaluation camp. I was like, “I don’t need to see them, I’ve seen them before.” […] The interviews we do now are mostly formalities to find out where they are now, what their short and long term goals are, how they see the future. †
Once the draft is over, the Alouettes will meet in Trois-Rivières on May 15 for the start of their training camp.
Unlike last year, everything will go a bit more normal. This means that the camp is open to the public and the team is preparing to play two preparatory matches. These will take place on May 28 against the Tiger-Cats in Hamilton and on June 3 against the Ottawa Redblacks in Montreal.
Head coach Khari Jones said he was “excited” to finally have a full training camp and to be able to “see the youngsters” in real game situations.
“I think it’s them [les jeunes joueurs] those most affected by the pandemic, he said. You make a team by showing what you can do in training camps, but also in preseason games and by having the opportunity to play with the lights on. It’s hard if you don’t have a chance to watch them, but now we will. †