Colin Stauffer remembers the player visits in Prince George well.
Robert Earnshaw. Gershon Koffie. Pedro Morales.
“It was really cool. Koffie came and played with us. Playing and being around professionals made me one day want to be at that level.”
Stauffer started soccer at the age of three in the Prince George Youth Soccer Association (PGYSA). He also played hockey until he was 11 before deciding to focus on the grass pitch.
In Prince George outdoor training is mostly in the summer, with the cold weather driving footy indoors from October to May.
The now 16-year-old has been a part of the Whitecaps FC BMO Academy System since he was young. He started under coach Ewan Fisher – now at the Whitecaps FC BMO Alberta Academy Centre – and he continues under coach Terrol Russell.
“Colin is always the earliest to training, and is the last one to leave,” tells Russell. “He pushes himself that little bit extra every training session and match, and his continued growth is showing in our performance data.”
Colin carries with him the lessons he’s learned.
“Be confident in yourself and keep your head up. You can always strive to be better than what you are, so keep working towards your goals.”
Coach Russell leads the PGYSA high performance program, and that program is partnered as part of the Whitecaps FC BMO Academy System.
“Having the support and guidance of such a storied organization, it reaffirms we are headed in the right direction.”
When Stauffer was younger he enjoyed watching the ‘Caps of yesteryear. Today he still watches every 'Caps match, and his favourite player is one that has been there throughout, Russell Teibert.
“Watching how calm he is on the ball. His work rate is so high and it shows on the field. He’s been a really big inspiration for me. “
Now he continues his own hard work. He has travelled to Seattle and Bellingham with a Whitecaps FC showcase team, and he took part in a Residency camp in November of 2018.
He is dedicated to improving and reaching his goals. Maybe even one day to play at BC Place.
“It would be unreal. Every time I walk in to the stadium I get chills. If one day I was playing there, it would just be an unreal experience to see all that hard work as a young kid pay off.