KAMLOOPS — Pat Raimondo is back to where his coaching career all began, the same field - albeit on turf now - where he came in 1993 as an assistant coach with Team Quebec for the Canada Summer Games.
"It was my first big tournament and I just remember being inspired to get involved with soccer and get involved at the highest levels," says Raimondo.
That experience has taken him around the world coaching, including a recent trip to the Ivory Coast for the Francophone Games. The 1993 Canada Summer Games, he says, was a launching point for his career.
"I was very young. I was still playing in those days and I was just trying to transition to figure out what I was going to do in the game," he says. "Refereeing didn't really interest me, so I thought I'll give it a go at coaching. I went with the Quebec coaching staff at the time. Francis ____ was a great mentor mentor for me and he gave me the first taste of what a high-level tournament can be like."
Raimondo remembers very well how the Canada Games ended for Team Quebec.
"We had an illegal player. We actually lost games by forfeit and were disqualified," he notes. "Quebec played a player that had played in the CONCACAF qualifying games, and we thought we had the ok but we didn't have the ok. We ended up losing our first two games by forfeit and went to the losers side of the bracket."
He has translated that into the head coaching gig with the University of Montreal Carabins, coming to Kamloops as the second-ranked team in the country.
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