BREMERTON, Wash.- The 2013 Premier Development League (PDL) season schedule has been released and the Kitsap Pumas have given themselves both a challenge and some wiggle room. The club used the USL winter meetings to develop a schedule that sees them start with five away matches. While that will be a challenge on the pitch, it also gives the Pumas an extra month to get their new home venue ready.
2013 schedule lists venue as “Gordon Field Park”
The Pumas are leaving Bremerton Memorial Stadium after four seasons for a chance to have their own place at Gordon Field, near the Kitsap County Fairgrounds. Gordon has been the club’s preferred training site since 2009 and has seen improvements which have included a new turf pitch and surrounding walkways. “Gordon Field Park” is listed as the Kitsap home venue for the 2013 season, with the new venue’s opening match set for Saturday June 1 against the Portland Timbers U23’s.
“Playing at Gordon field will be great,” Kitsap head coach James Ritchie recently told goalWA.net. “The pitch is a very nice new turf surface. The pitch is much wider than at Bremerton High School. This will give us more room to be able to move the ball and play an attacking, slick, style of possession football. We will also look to put a beer garden in place. Being at a high school we have been unable to do this in the past and I know a lot of the fans will be happy at this news.”
A settlement with the Bremerton School District allows the Pumas to take their portable bleacher seating with them to help assemble the new venue. PDL guidelines dictate a press box and changing rooms are also necessary. The Pumas front office have been brainstorming ideas over the past few months as they also negotiate with Bremerton Parks for use of the space and to develop some sort of partnership or agreement on building the venue.
Below: Some video from 2012 action at Gordon Field, as it looks now:
Fan input important
There has already been social media talk among Pumas supporters in regards to end line bleachers and standing areas. The fit would be tight but the Pumas know these are the traditional haunts of the die-hards. It will be important for the club to get input from its fans as they make their plans.
Pumas supporters have a great opportunity to make sure “The Gord” looks like home. In their four-year history the Pumas have won a series of titles and trophies. Is it not time for a few banners for The Gord? How about: 2011 PDL National Champs, PDL NW Division Champs 2009, 2011, Rivalry Cup Winners: 2009, 2010, 2011 Narrows Bridge Bell and 2012 Ruffneck Cup. US Open Cup participants: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012.
Not so fast
The Kitsap Sun readied and then pulled a story on the Pumas getting close to a final, official announcement on Gordon Field (http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2013/jan/16/pumas-close-to-making-gordon-field-new-home/). The newspaper tells us it will run the story in the coming week.