Nash looking forward to 2008

2008 is shaping up to be a big year in the distinguished career of Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Martin Nash.

Though 2007 proved to be a disappointing season for the Whitecaps, the Victoria, BC, native remained a very reliable servant for both club and country last year. The 32-year-old set a new ironman record after playing in 77 consecutive games for the Whitecaps, with the streak only coming to an end when Nash was called up to Canada’s squad for the CONCACAF Gold Cup finals in the United States. His return to the Canadian national team fold in 2007 came after an absence of more than three years. After Canada’s controversial Gold Cup exit to the USA in the semifinals, the former Rochester Raging Rhinos and Montreal Impact player went on to start in a further 19 games for the Whitecaps last year. This included the November 7 international friendly against David Beckham and the Los Angeles Galaxy at BC Place.

With the 2008 campaign still to come, Nash was pleased to have a well-deserved break in Britain and Europe with his family over the holiday season. “We always go back and spend Christmas with family there, as we’ve been doing it for a few years now,” he told whitecapsfc.com. “With it being the off-season, it’s the best chance of the year for us to go on a family trip.”

Though only weeks into the New Year, Nash was quickly back in training mode after being called up by Canadian national team head coach Dale Mitchell for a winter training camp in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Both Nash and Whitecaps teammate Adrian Cann have been training twice a day with a predominantly North American-based squad this past week, as Canada gear up for World Cup qualifying in June. The camp includes a trip to the Caribbean for an international friendly with CONCACAF rivals Martinique next Wednesday. “It’s been going well so far,” Nash said of the training camp. “It’s nice to see some of the guys again and I’m enjoying it. The goal here is to do well and be chosen for the World Cup qualifiers.”

The camp not only gives Nash the chance to put his best foot forward in terms of World Cup qualifying involvement with Canada, it gives him the opportunity to be in top fitness for the new Whitecaps season in April. “I’m just trying to get some fitness now and hopefully, I’ll keep things ticking over until we start our training camp in March.”

Like many of his returning teammates, Nash is excited by what lies ahead under new Whitecaps head coach Teitur Thordarson. “I’m looking forward to seeing how it all comes about,” he said. “Obviously, there are a lot of changes occurring, but hopefully, we will have a good team on the field that can be successful this coming season.”

The Whitecaps men started preseason training this past week, with locally-based players to work under the guidance of Thordarson and assistant coach Todd Wawrousek for the next few weeks before training camp officially begins on Monday, March 3.

The Whitecaps open the 2008 regular season at Swangard Stadium in an all-Canadian tilt versus the Montreal Impact on April 12. Season tickets are on sale now and start at $199. All season tickets include a bonus ticket to this year’s international friendly. For more information, CLICK HERE or call the Whitecaps office at 604.669.WAVE (9283).