As the next step in the expanded partnership that was recently announced by BC Soccer and Vancouver Whitecaps FC, the two organizations are beginning Phase One of the process to build an integrated and streamlined approach to Soccer Development in British Columbia.
As announced at the recent BC Soccer Annual General Meeting in June 2009, the two organizations have signed a Letter of Intent to form a strategic partnership. The partnership will promote collaboration and shared resources in two key areas:
i. Soccer Development
ii. Business and Community Development
Preliminary work to identify joint opportunities in Business and Community Development is underway. A visioning and strategic planning process will begin in the fall of 2009 to prioritize opportunities and set out the next steps for these areas.
Work on an integrated approach to Soccer Development has made significant progress, driven by a series of shared marketplace challenges, including:
• The growing need for community club resources and services, including expanded regionalized programs in grassroots development, coaching development, and refereeing development
• The requirements of Long Term Player Development (LTPD), with respect to delivery of both a central and regional high performance "player first" philosophy
• The duplication of high performance resources
A three-phase roll-out plan for improvements to Soccer Development was proposed and outlined in the Letter of Intent. The roll-out plan will guide the process of reaching an integrated and streamlined approach to the development of soccer in British Columbia.
The plan includes:
Phase I - Partnership Integration and Regional Discovery (Fall 2009)
In this phase, the organizations will embark on a comprehensive, joint regional consultation process with BC Soccer member districts, clubs, leagues, and other stakeholders.
In preparation for this process, BC Soccer and Whitecaps FC will support each other internally and collaborate on Soccer Development research together, with the Whitecaps primarily focused on High Performance Player development, and BC Soccer focused on Grassroots, Coaching, Referee development, and Club services.
In addition, both partners will conduct a review of integration and delivery of programs and resources through the proposed National Soccer Development Centre as the new home to Whitecaps FC and BC Soccer.
This joint cooperative process will ensure that appropriate research and due diligence has been completed and that the partnership and any proposed changes to delivery best serve all facets of Soccer Development.
Also during this time period, as part of the transition to the new integrated partnership, Whitecaps FC will eliminate programming (U-14 to U-16 Prospects) that duplicates BC Soccer programming starting in the 2009-2010 season.
Phase II - High Performance Implementation (Fall 2010)
Guided by the discovery findings from Phase I, the partnership will see Whitecaps FC principally act as the key service provider in centralized high performance player development to BC Soccer under continued governance by the Association.
BC Soccer and Whitecaps FC will develop a high performance implementation plan to outline relevant deliverables and scope of responsibility within this area of the partnership.
Phase III - Review and New Opportunities (Fall 2011)
This phase will focus on review, consolidation, and enhancements of the first two phases.
For more information on 2009-2010 programming (Phase I), please visit our Whitecaps FC/BC Soccer partnership page.