A look at the Residency staff structure

The men developing the stars of tomorrow

With the Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency program having undergone a significant expansion – including the addition of junior and senior U-14 teams, as well as a U-16 team – the staff structure has also been revamped.

Richard Grootscholten will continue to oversee the Residency program as technical director and head coach, while also serving as head coach for the U-18 Residency team.  Having joined Whitecaps FC on November 3, 2010, Grootscholten led a young Residency squad into their fourth season in the United Soccer Leagues (USL) Premier Development League (PDL) in 2011. Under his guidance, the Residency team finished third in the PDL Western Conference, Northwest Division standings with a record of 8W-5L-3D.

“We’re thrilled to have Richard leading the way, as we expand our Residency program,” said Dan Lenarduzzi, Whitecaps FC director of soccer development. “It’s an exciting time at the club, and the staff that we have assembled for our Residency program will help us build an exciting future.”

Grootscholten brings 20 years of coaching experience in Dutch soccer. Prior to coming to Vancouver, the native of De Lier, Netherlands, served as technical director of Sparta Rotterdam – the oldest professional soccer club in the Netherlands – from 2008 to 2010. For his efforts at Sparta, the club received the prestigious Rinus Michels Award for having the best youth academy in the Netherlands during the 2008-09 season. Sparta also finished runners-up for the award in seasons 2007-08 and 2009-10. Grootscholten's coaching credentials include Europe's top coaching certification from the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA Pro License), as well as 'A', 'B', and 'C' - level certification from UEFA.

Craig Dalrymple returns as assistant technical director and head coach, while also serving as assistant coach for both the U-16 and U-18 Residency teams. The native of Langley, BC, assumed his current role on November 3, 2010, having initially joined the full-time program as interim head coach on May 7, 2010. Prior to coming on board with Whitecaps FC, Dalrymple served as an academy staff coach with England’s Portsmouth FC. His coaching credentials include 'A' license certification from the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), United States Soccer Federation (USSF), and the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA).

Bart Choufour becomes head coach of the newly launched U-14 Residency group, and assistant coach for the inaugural U-16 Residency team. The native of Haarlem, Netherlands, originally joined Whitecaps FC in Feburary 2007, previously working for the club as head coach of the Prospects Boys program and manager of technical programs. A Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) ‘A’ license coach, Choufour was one of the initiators and the first director of youth development for Vancouver 86ers.  

Supporting him will be Rich Fagan, who will serve as assistant coach and video analyst for both the U-14 and U-16 teams, as well as Leigh Sembaluk, who will serve as assistant coach for the U-14 age group. Choufour, Fagan, and Sembaluk each will also provide coaching for the Whitecaps FC training programs.

Raegyn Hall is the goalkeeper coach and video analyst for the Residency program, as well as the overall assistant to Whitecaps FC head goalkeeper coach, Marius Rovde. Additionally, Hall and Rovde will also run the Whitecaps FC Goalkeeper Academy.

Rounding out the Residency coaching staff are former Whitecaps FC player Martin Nash and long-time Residency assistant coach Steve Meadley, who will both serve as staff coaches for the U-16 and U-18 teams.

On the sports science side, the club announced last week the hiring of Chris Franks as head therapist for the Residency program. A former Whitecaps FC player, Franks totaled 11 goals and 10 assists in 200 games. The Richmond, BC, product also worked for the club as team physiotherapist from 2007 to 2009. A graduate of the University of British Columbia, Franks brings a wealth of experience to the Residency program while working closely with Whitecaps FC MLS Physiotherapist consultant Rick Celebrini.

Supporting Franks will be Jon MacGregor, who will serve as athletic therapist for the U-16 and U-18 teams, as well as Kevin Phillips, athletic therapist for the U-14 group. Jon Poli will work as the program’s strength and conditioning coach.

Equipment and facility management will be headed by Simon Crocker – son of long-time Whitecaps FC equipment manager Barry Crocker – who will serve as head equipment and logistics manager, with Carlo Bertelli supporting him as assistant equipment manager and Aman Parhar also aiding with equipment and transportation.

The club is currently in the process of hiring a head coach for the U-16 Residency team, as well as a specialized skills development coach – a common position in Europe, but not as common here in North America.

For more information on the Whitecaps FC Residency program, visit whitecapsfc.com/residency.