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Whitecaps give Kootenay players a chance to shine at High Potential Player Showcase

Bruce Fuhr
By Bruce Fuhr
March 24th, 2015

Never before has the road to a scholarship or provincial team been paved so smoothly for Kootenay youth soccer players.

Now 26 players from the region have the opportunity to prove the province doesn’t end at Hope at the Whitecaps High Potential Player (HPP) Showcase week March 30 to April 5 in Vancouver.

The Kootenay players will be part of the 100 invitees from Whitecaps FC Academy Centres across BC.

“Kootenay Soccer is expanding all the time and there has been fantastic work going on for years,” Brett Adams, Whitecaps Kootenay Regional Head Coach.

“As the professional soccer club we have added to the great work by offering opportunities and highly qualified coaching.”

The Whitecaps Northern Academy qualified 23 players while Kamloops and Island have 15 and 14 players attending, respectively.

The Academy in Saskatchewan has 19 players able to attend.

Locally, in the Kootenays, Adams said the Whitecaps currently offer technical direction in Nelson, Cranbrook, Kimberley and Castlegar.

The Whitecaps, part Major League Soccer, also work with youth soccer associations in Fernie and Creston.

“The associations are seeing the benefit of having experienced professionals guide their youth,” Adams added.

The Whitecaps FC HPP program is a club initiative that has been expanded to the Academy Centre network to identify players that are excelling in their respective regions. 

“We are excited to be able to introduce this new initiative this year as part of our Academy Centre network and Showcase tournament,” said Whitecaps FC director of soccer development Dan Lenarduzzi on the team website.

Adams, a UEFA A licensed coach, which is the highest soccer qualification a skipper can attain, said the HPP camp is a great chance for the Kootenay players to showcase their talents in front of scouts and college coaches.

“The idea is to have all of our High potential players the opportunity to be scouted by universities from Canada and the US,” Adams said.

“The immediate goal would be help these players secure scholarships.”

According to the Whitecaps website, training camp for the HPP teams will begin on March 30. Vancouver-based Pre-Residency and Girls Elite technical staff, along with all Academy Centre head coaches, will lead technical and tactical sessions.

Additionally, players will also receive a college prep session provided by Whitecaps FC manager of collegiate transition Ryan Clark.

Following a week of training, teams will then head into the Showcase tournament from Friday to Sunday. 

The Whitecaps FC Academy Centers, which run in the winter during the offseason from club soccer, has allowed players to refine their skills though high-level coaching.

“The plan is to give these players the opportunity to work with elite coaches for a long period of time so that when opportunities arise they will be used to a high level of instruction,” Adams explains.

“When I started in 2013 we had 100 players in the Academy, we now have 250-plus with centers in Nelson, Cranbrook and Fernie.”

The balance of the youth soccer season for Provincial B teams in the interior of the province run from February to mid-July.

The Whitecaps are offering a handful of camps during the summer to keep the players sharp in preparation for the Academy Center in the fall.

  • July 7-9th – NEW for 2015 – Cranbrook Prospect Camp
  • July 13-17 – Nelson Skills Camp
  • July 27-31st – Castlegar Skills Camp
  • August 17-21st – Nelson Prospects Camp
  • August 31st – September 2nd – Nelson Attacking speed Camp/GK Camp 

The list of Kootenay Players attending the camp (from Nelson unless otherwise stated) include:
U15 Girls
Michaela Anderson
Sophie Borhi
Sofia      Arcuri
Julia       Burkart
Mattea Lorenzo
Shianne Michalchuk
Hanna   Quinn
Eimily     Taylor
U16 Girls

Laurel    Halleran
Maya     Ida
Jesamyn VanDonselaar
Taylor Zimmer
Sarah Andreas – Cranbrook
U17/18 Girls
Kyra       Burkart
Paige     Gattafoni – Trail
Naomi   Perkins
Hailee   Gerun
Jena       Wheeldon
Abbie    Bouchier-Willans
Tara       Yowek
U15 Boys
Jaden    Dyck
Ezra Foy
Jordan Klassen – Cranbrook
U16 Boys
Darian Johnson
U17/18 Boys
Nolan Derosa – Trail
Dylan Bennett

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