By Rob Shore
The Kitsap Pumas’ preseason will continue on Saturday as the team hosts its invitational tryout, with a handful of roster spots up for grabs. And it will end on Sunday with a friendly of sorts.
Pumas head coach Liviu Bird said that 5-7 roster spots could be decided this weekend at Gordon Field in Bremerton.
“We expect a good showing from all the players coming out,” Bird said. “It should be a good level of play. We expect everybody will be competing hard for remaining spots available.”
The trialists — a mixture of current college players, former college players and former professional players — will being the trial on Saturday with two sessions of scrimmaging in an 11-vs.-11 setting.
Sunday, the top players from the tryout will form a squad against a local community college in an informal friendly match. Kickoff is scheduled for 11 a.m.
The tryout is open to the public and is free for spectators to attend.
Bird said this tryout would likely be a more intense version of what he had seen at the team’s open tryout in January.
“It’ll be a higher level, players have proven they can play at this level against players who are in consideration for roster spots,” Bird said. “(The open tryout) is open, we get what we get; the invitational is for players who can play at our level, or who we think can play at our level. Every step the quality goes up a little bit.”
Last year’s invitational tryout netted a handful of players for Kitsap’s 2017 squad, including Tony Mota, Kazushiro Hamaguchi, Nana Boakye and Johnny Gibula.
This weekend’s tryout is also just another reminder that the 2018 season is getting closer.
“Its a long offseason so, any time we get to step on the field, it’s cause for excitement,” Bird said. “I dont think we’ve gone through any year that we haven’t signed two or three from the invitational tryout. It’s a good chance for them to come out and show why should be on team this year.”