WEST BLOOMFIELD — He watched the junior varsity game with a sharp eye, maybe more so than ever before.
Playing on the field in front of him was the future of Farmington High soccer, a fact highlighted by the roster turnover the Falcons have experienced the past couple of falls.
“It wasn’t planned this way,” varsity coach Luke Juncaj said with a smile Aug. 28 at West Bloomfield High. “It just works out like this sometimes.”
But not often.
In fact, he has never graduated all 11 starters from one year to the next, as he did following the completion on 2012.
So goes the challenge for Juncaj and Farmington this year.
While there is some varsity experience back in the mix — about six players — the team is essentially starting over, with 11 new starters.
“It’s a rebuilding year, and we know that,” Juncaj said. “We’re not so much a young team, but we don’t have very much experience at all.”
The current roster has 11 seniors on it, along with four juniors and two sophomores, highlighting the impact some guys on the JV will have in the coming years.
“Patience has to be key, especially early on,” Juncaj said of his varsity squad. “We have to have an effort every night to come out and compete. That’s what we can control right now.”
A year ago, the Falcons won the Detroit Country Day season-opening tournament.
When this season started, the Falcons hung tough in the three games played, but left the event 0-3.
At press time, Farmington was 0-4 after a 3-1 loss to West Bloomfield that night.
“We’re working on coming together right now,” Juncaj said. “The key is also finding ways to have fun. We need to make sure the guys are enjoying themselves and excited to be a part of this.”
Juncaj, who guided the Falcons to a .500 record a year ago, added that he’s looking forward to the challenge of a rebuild this time around.
“We’re going to work at it and make it a good season,” he said. “We’ve got some good players here, and they know if we work at being at our best come the end of the season, we can make it a good year. This is a team with a lot to offer.”