Atlético Ottawa announced its first signing, a mere week before the start of the team’s training camp at Atlético de Madrid’s training grounds, the Wanda Training Complex.
Although it was a strong rumour, it’s quite fitting that the club announced Ben Fisk as the first signing in franchise history. Fisk was undoubtedly one of the markee player in the CanPL last year, and was clearly the ‘franchise player’ at Pacific FC.
Ben just turned 27 last month, and is a product of the Vancouver Whitecaps youth setup. Loaned to Charleston, he then played two seasons in Spain, for Coruxo FC and Deportivo La Coruna, plyaing in both the Spanish Third and Fourth Divisions (Segunda B and Tercera). He came back to Canada in 2016, playing for FC Edmonton (NASL) before the club ceased operations. He played a year in Ireland (Derry City) before signing for Pacific FC in the inaugural season of the CPL.
Fisk is an Attacking Midfielder, playing generally on the right. In 26 apparitions for Pacific, he scored 6 goals who had 26 apparitions for Pacific FC last season. He scored 6 goals (with a very consistent xG of 5.99). Ben also had 5 assists (outperforming his Expected Assist (xA) of 2.84).
For attacking midfielders, only Tristan Borges, Ryan Telfer, Marcos Bustos and Oliver Minatel outscored and out-xG him. You can also argue that because he played less minutes than three of those four, his offensive production could have been higher.
Without more details about the composition of the team around Ben, we’ll keep our detailed analysis for later, but we can definitely say that Ottléti, as fans have started to nickname the team, has signed a good, reliable, offensive player. And did I say that he can also score absolute beauties? We absolutely can’t wait to see goals like that on our home pitch:
— OneSoccer (@onesoccer) February 25, 2020
In an interview with Eddie and Cam from 613 Sports yesterday, Ben revealed that he was approached by the club right after the club was officially announced. He did not know that he would be the first announcement, but he feels incredibly honoured to be the first signing announced by the club.
Ben also said that before signing, as it all happened very quickly, he had no idea on who his teammates would be, but that he had a lot of faith and confidence in what the club could do, especially with the backing of a top ten club in the world, with an extensive scouting system and partner club network. He is bringing the experience of being part of a brand new team, having experienced it with Pacific FC last year.
The importance of the association with Atlético de Madrid, and the attraction it can have on players cannot be understated. Ben revealed that he has bigger aspirations and that the backing of Atléti can open doors for players to be able to do that next step. Besides the branding and Canadian soccer ‘exploration’ aspects that I discussed in this recent article, it is clear, but unsurprising, that Atléti may also well be an attraction force for players to come play in Ottawa
And you know what? Ben is not only a very good first signing for this team, and we can’t wait to see his talents on the pitch at TD Place, I really think Ottawa fans will love him as a human. He made all the first things right: his first social media post as a member of Ottléti was bilingual, he already made contact with our Supporters Groups, and even answered York 9’s banter on Twitter.
Ladies and Gentlemen, let’s all welcome Ben to our beautiful city!
I’ll take a Becks comparison any day of the week 👍🏻 https://t.co/prluHydH3h
— Ben Fisk (@benfisk) March 5, 2020
I’m honoured to represent our nation’s capital and be announced as @Atleti_Ottawa ‘s inaugural signing 🇨🇦 // Je suis honoré de représenter la capitale de notre pays et d'être annoncé comme la signature inaugurale de @Atleti_Ottawa 🇨🇦 pic.twitter.com/6eWcyZKaDi
— Ben Fisk (@benfisk) March 4, 2020