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Mariners 2006 Squad Takes Shape

April 6, 2006 - USL First Division (USL-1) - Virginia Beach Mariners News Release


The Virginia Beach Mariners are pleased to announce five-time All-League selection Craig Demmin has joined the 2006 squad. Demmin, a huge force at central defense is 6'2" 195LBS from Arima, Trinidad and has represented Trinidad and Tobago in over 35 National Team appearances. At the same time the Mariners and the Richmond Kickers have come to terms for a loan for the 2006 season for Forward McColm Cephas. Cephas from Monrovia, Liberia is 5' 5" and 180 LBS is already in camp with the Mariners preparing for their 2006 campaign opener on April 22nd against the Toronto Lynx.

Demmin was with the Rochester Raging Rhinos from 1998-2000 before being drafted in the MLS Superdraft in 2001 by Tampa Bay where he appeared in 19 games. In 2002 he rejoined Rochester where he played a dominant role in their defense through the 2005 Season. Demmin was Rochester Rhinos' four time MVP and has won three USL First Division titles and his experience and leadership on and off the field will be a great asset to the Mariners 2006 campaign. Craig is a proven winner in the USL, has demonstrated strong leadership and has vast experience in Championship campaigns in the USL. His presence will bring stability to the team through some of the more difficult times of the season.

The Mariners' defense, with returning players Alan Woods, Steve Danbusky, Russell Hutchison and Steve Shak, combined with the off season signing of Demmin, Kupono Low, Shane McFaul and Chris Schwarze gives the team size, speed, experience and depth and lays the strong foundation for the new season that is kicking off at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex against the Toronto Lynx on April 22nd at 7.30PM.

The addition of McColm Cephas on the front line will give the Mariners a potent force up front. Cephas played 21 games for USL Division 1 finalist Richmond Kickers in 2005. As a rookie in 2004, Cephas led the Kickers in points (28) and goals (12) and was a 2004 USL-1 Rookie of the Year finalist. McColm accounted for the most game-winning goals on the team with five and was ranked in the top 10 point leaders and top 10 goal scorers in the USL First Division. In 2003 McColm lead VCU and the CAA with 17 goals, this after a year where he finished second on the team with 18 points and led VCU with 60 shots. While playing for Richmond Kickers Future (PDL) in 2003 Cephas scored 8 goals in 11 games. McColm represented his country earning three international caps in 2004.

"We are very grateful to the Kickers organization and in particular Paul Sterbenz for making this happen," said Mike McCann, Managing Director. "I think Head Coach Jay Hoffman summed it up when he said, ‘McColm adds another dimension to our attack. His speed and his technical skill will work very well with the players we have and he adds even more USL playoff experience to our

squad.'"

With Jakob Fenger returning and the signing of Gregory Simmonds, #1 draft pick Nate Micklos and Andrew Herman, the front is strong and will be well supported by midfielders Pato Aguilera. Tim O'Neill, Felix Brillant, Josh Nolz, Jeff Bilyk, and Leepaul Scroggins.

The Mariners continue their pre season preparations playing Richmond in the James River Cup on Saturday April 8th at 7:00pm at the Sportsplex with the return game scheduled in Richmond April 15th. An International Friendly with Village United from Jamaica on April 12th will test the readiness of the 2006 squad prior to the Opening Game on April 22nd against the Toronto Lynx.

Visit www.marinerssoccer.com or call (757) 430-9800 to find out how to purchase your tickets in advance for all Virginia Beach Mariners, Virginia Beach Submariners and Hampton Roads Piranhas games.

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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