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Act II: Huntsville City FC takes pitch under new coach seeking first victory of season

HUNTSVILLE – Huntsville City Football Club will make its debut under interim head coach Christophe Berra when Crown Legacy FC visits Wicks Family Field at Joe Davis Stadium this weekend.

Saturday’s match at 7 p.m. will be the first of two straight at home for the Boys in Blue under the new coach, who replaced Jack Collison this week.

“It’s not nice to see Jack go,’’ said Berra, who was an assistant before being elevated. “This was his job, you know? He brought me here in the first place, and he’s got a really good emotional connection leading the club. We all like Jack a lot and credit him for building the foundations that are already in Huntsville. Personally, yes. I’m very excited. I’ve been a coach for a short period of time. 

“I do have ambitions to be a manager one day. Obviously, I’m interim manager quicker than I would have thought, but this job is one that I’m really looking forward to. I am prepared for this, even if there’s a lot more stuff that goes on in the background with regards to being a football manager. We have a good staff around us who are going to help and support me and the team. We want to go out and develop players and really bring excitement to the Huntsville fans.” 

Last year, Crown Legacy FC took on HCFC in the historic debut at Wicks Family Field at Joe Davis Stadium. The Boys in Blue came away with a 2-1 victory in front of a sellout crowd on May 19, 2023.

Saturday’s match is the first of three between the two sides this season. Tickets are available here.

“Crown Legacy were a strong team last year,’’ Berra said. “They got beat (Wednesday), and they had a man sent off. However, in the 30 minutes prior to that, they had a couple of chances. They’re a front foot, aggressive team. 

“We will respect them, but also, we’ve got to go out there and play our game plan as well.”

Huntsville FC this season has lost twice and played to two draws. Berra is hoping for a win to turn things around.

“The easy answer is we do not concede and score goals, but I think it’s good pace and energy. Be intense. They’re the non-negotiables of football,” he said. “I think if you’re out there and you’re bringing energy to the game and you’re competing, that gives you the chance to win.

“Then, it’ll come down to individual quality in those moments in games that really separate the good teams from the great teams.” 

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