“We’re talking about classic football” – CFC women return on Sunday

Beata Chako ran down the center of the field, marked in a bright orange jacket and looking to score. A teammate kicked a cross into the penalty area, where Chako intercepted the ball and then scored. Of course, this scene happened during one of Chattanooga FC’s last practices rather than a game, but Chako says fans will enjoy games like this on Sunday and beyond in the games that matter. .

“We are talking about classic football,” says Chako, “and we are going to do our best, and we promise it will be interesting and great.”

After a three-year hiatus, Chattanooga FC’s women’s team will return on Sunday to face Nashville Rhythm FC in Nashville.

Chako, who plays forward, will be joined up front by Damaris Gaines. The Georgia Gwinnett College forward says the difference in strength and technical skill is very noticeable.

“I think most people here are strong and can hold their own,” Gaines says. “There are smaller players, but if they are small they are really talented. I think it’s really good to play with players like that.

She later added that the team was still getting to know each other and that it would take time to understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses. When asked how she would describe how the workouts went, Gaines replied that “they went well.”

There’s a slew of homegrown talent on the roster, ranging from UT-Chattanooga alumni such as Delaney Mitchell and Avery Callett, to a trio of Dalton State midfielders including Rocio Carrizales, among others.

One such local star is recent Signal Mountain High School graduate and soon-to-be Maryville midfielder Maddie Avery. She says playing with veterans of the game has been a “wake-up call” for her, and she notes the skill gap between her teammates and the average high school player.

Like the rest of the team, Avery is ready for the start of the season, although she’s not sure how it will turn out.

“Honestly, I don’t really know what to expect yet, and I don’t think any of us are sure yet,” says Avery.

While Chako and Gaines ran around midfield looking for passes during the previously mentioned drill, Ana Silva was the one throwing the passes to teammates. Silva, a member of the CFC Academy’s first-ever squad in 2012, now wears the same kit as the athletes she once idolized.

“I was super excited. When I was little I played for the academy team, and when I heard about the revival I knew I wanted to try,” Silva explains. “When Coach Douglas reached out, I was super excited!”

One of those players she grew up watching was Katelyn Newsome, who is back with the team. Coach Randy Douglas thinks she will be a leader for the team of mostly college athletes.

“She’s older, but at the same time, her work rate and ability to get into tight spaces and be dangerous showed through in our practices,” Coach Douglas said. “Someone like her can lead the way.”

Since the team won‘t make their home debut at Finley Stadium until June 4, fans who can’t travel will have to wait a few weeks to see the team in person. One of their youngest players promises that the team will try their best to become one of the best teams in the WPSL.

We’re all going to work really hard to get where we want to be,” says Avery.

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