VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced on Tuesday the appointment of Mackenzie Matthews as head coach of the Whitecaps FC BMO Girls Academy. She will also work with Annie Hamel in leading the Pre-Girls Elite program.
Matthews joins the club from Calgary, where she held the role of girls academy director with Calgary Rangers Soccer Club since 2018. She holds Canada Soccer National B and Youth Licenses, and has previously worked with Whitecaps FC BMO Academy programs in Calgary.
“We are very pleased to have Mackenzie joining us,” said Emma Humphries, Whitecaps FC director of women’s football development. “Mackenzie will take a lead role in connecting our academy programming with our Pre-Girls Elite environment. She is an enthusiastic coach with experience in player development, already having worked with our Calgary REX and ‘Caps to College players throughout this past season.”
In her new role, Matthews will provide leadership, day-to-day management, and head coaching in the Whitecaps FC Girls BMO Academy and Discovery program in Vancouver. The Mainland Girls BMO Academy is a step on the pathway which can lead to the BC Soccer Premier League, Whitecaps FC Girls Elite, university, professional, and national team opportunities. To learn more about the the Mainland Girls BMO Academy, visit https://camps.whitecapsfcyouth.com/mainland-girls-academy.
Matthews will also lead girls’ prospects & overnight summer camps. To learn more about camps, visit https://camps.whitecapsfcyouth.com/camps.
“I am very excited to join the team here in Vancouver and start working with the players in the Whitecaps FC BMO Girls Academy and the Pre-Girls Elite programs,” said Matthews. “With the current success of our women's national team, it is a very inspiring time to be coaching Canadian youth. Our young players can now see aspirations and dreams becoming a reality within the Canadian landscape. I am delighted to continue developing as a coach with the talented players in the Whitecaps FC program and look forward to contributing to the community.”
The Pre-Girls Elite program will see Matthews and Simon Fraser University women’s head coach Annie Hamel leading the team for the 2022-2023 season. The program is for players selected for the U-15 team, which trains full-time with regular competitive matches against select competition and travel to tournaments, leading into the Whitecaps FC Girls Elite program.
Hamel comes with eight years of experience leading the local university side. Prior to her time at SFU, Hamel was assistant coach at Saint Leo University, head coach with Ottawa Fury U-20, and a graduate assistant at the University of Maine. As a player, she played professionally with Ottawa Fury and FC Indiana.
“We are thrilled to welcome Annie back to our program to work with Mackenzie and the team,” added Humphries. “Her experience will be beneficial to our young players.”
For information on the Whitecaps FC BMO Academy System, visit whitecapsfc.com/academy.