VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced today the launch of a new Whitecaps FC Saskatchewan Academy Centre – the first such centre outside of British Columbia within the club’s Western Canada Major League Soccer (MLS) territory.
The new Academy Centre will be based out of Saskatoon and led by Bryce Chapman, head coach of the University of Saskatchewan Huskie men’s soccer program. With the support of Vancouver staff, Chapman will serve as Whitecaps FC Saskatchewan Academy regional head coach.
“We’re very pleased to launch this academy centre in Saskatchewan and are very appreciative of the support from the University of Saskatchewan and to have the expertise of a CIS men’s head coach to lead this program,” said Dan Lenarduzzi, Whitecaps FC director of soccer development. “The academy centre is excited to work along-side and support the Saskatchewan provincial and national team program. We have a huge amount of respect for what these organizations are doing and together, we will work to help grow the game in Saskatchewan and provide further opportunities and options for local players as part of our professional club system and network.”
Chapman is entering his ninth year as head coach of the University of Saskatchewan Huskie men’s soccer team. Having previously been named Canada West Coach of the Year, Chapman has also been the head coach of the Huskie United Soccer Academy (HUSA) for four years. Prior to this announcement, HUSA had partnered with Whitecaps FC to run a pilot Academy program in the winter which has included boys U-16 and U-18 teams. These teams will now become part of Whitecaps FC Saskatchewan Academy centre programs.
“I’m very excited to be joining Whitecaps FC and to help build the Saskatchewan Academy centre programs” stated Chapman. “Through this partnership with Whitecaps FC and the University, along with previously established local relationships, we look forward to serving the best interests of players and coaches as we continue to foster the development of soccer in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and Canada.”
Whitecaps FC Academy Centres are a network of regional Whitecaps FC training hubs linked through key staff, curriculum, and standards that provide professional supplemental club training for serious, motivated players. Other current Academy Centres are located on Vancouver Island and in Vancouver, the Okanagan, and the Kootenays, with additional locations planned.
With this new Academy Centre, players in Saskatchewan will be provided with greater opportunities to be scouted into Whitecaps FC development programs. Already this year, Saskatchewan-based players Ty Werbicki and Tyler Redl were in Vancouver to train with Whitecaps FC Residency teams.
Whitecaps FC Saskatchewan Academy will operate through August with an abbreviated schedule of programs. The current U-15 and U-18 Prospects Academy teams will run through July and both will attend the Whitecaps FC College Showcase in March in Vancouver. Initially this spring, Whitecaps FC will also launch a U-10 and U-12 Prospects Academy program as well as a Skills Academy for boys and girls U-6 to U-14.
In addition to the Academy programs, Whitecaps FC Saskatchewan regional Camps will be available in the summer in a variety of locations.
Additional programming will begin in September 2013.
For more information on Whitecaps FC Saskatchewan Academy Centre programs please visit whitecapsfc.com/sask.
Whitecaps FC Saskatchewan Regional Head Coach
Whitecaps FC Director of Soccer Develoment
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