Island Academy announcement

Whitecaps FC partner with Harbour City FC to launch Island Academy Centre

VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced today the launch of a new Whitecaps FC Island Academy Centre on Vancouver Island. The new Academy Centre will be based out of Nanaimo and in partnership with Harbour City FC, formerly Nanaimo Youth Soccer Club.

“We’re very pleased to present our Whitecaps FC Island Academy Centre in partnership with Harbour City FC,” said Dan Lenarduzzi, Whitecaps FC director of soccer development. “We recognize the great work that Harbour City FC have done in building both development and community programs, and we feel this is a great fit to join forces and hopefully engage additional clubs to help grow the game and our brand on the Island, as well as to provide further opportunities for local players.

“It’s important to state that within BC, Whitecaps FC Academy Centres are positioned to be supportive of EA SPORTS BC Soccer Premier League (BCSPL) programming – our partner league and main scouting vehicle for our programs in BC,” added Lenarduzzi. “Our Island Academy will certainly be part of the pathway in forwarding players to Vancouver Island Wave teams in the BCSPL, which are based out of Victoria.”

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 in Vancouver, Okanagan, and the Kootenays, with additional locations planned across Canada.


Whitecaps FC currently have five players in the club’s Residency program from Vancouver Island: Elliott Cuthbert, Joshua Cuthbert, Evan Gray and Sean Melvin from Victoria, and Nolan Wirth from Comox. All five players participated in the BC Soccer Provincial Team Program and the National Training Centre.

With over 1,600 members, Harbour City FC is the largest soccer club on Vancouver Island and the largest sports club in the city of Nanaimo. For more information on the club, visit

“This partnership with Whitecaps FC is another step forward for our club,” said Liam Roden, president of Harbour City FC. “Together with Whitecaps FC, we will not only look to provide additional opportunities for youth in our club, but also to engage all Island clubs and youth with the opportunities this partnership will bring.”

Harbour City FC technical director Claude Bolton will take on the additional role of Whitecaps FC Island regional head coach. Bolton will deliver Whitecaps FC’s development philosophy and curriculum supported by Whitecaps FC staff in Vancouver who will make regular visits to the Island Academy.

“We’re very pleased to welcome Claude on board with Whitecaps FC,” stated Lenarduzzi.  “Claude’s experience locally, along with his licensing, makes him a great asset to help grow our Island Academy Centre and camp programs.”

Bolton is a Chartered Professional Coach (ChPC) and brings with him over a decade of professional coaching experience. He holds United States Soccer Federation (USSF) National ‘A’ , Goalkeeping, Fitness, and Youth licenses, as well as a National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) National Advanced Youth Certificate. Bolton’s previous work experience includes working as Futsal Canada’s men’s national team head coach and as a player development coach in the regional development school of Major League Soccer (MLS) club New York Red Bulls. For his complete bio, visit

Whitecaps FC Island Academy will launch in January. Initially, the Academy will run from January through August with an abbreviated schedule of programs. Included at the start will be a Skills Academy for boys and girls U-9 to U-12, and a Goalkeeping Academy open to motivated players. A Prospects Academy will also operate from March through June and will comprise local training as well as two trips to Vancouver: one for a Showcase weekend and another for an MLS weekend that includes training with Whitecaps FC Vancouver staff, plus a chance to watch a live MLS game. 

In addition to the Academy programs, Whitecaps FC Island Camps will be available in the spring and summer in a variety of locations.

Additional programming will begin in September 2013.

Registration for Whitecaps FC Island Academy programs opens today. For more information and to register please visit online at

Claude Bolton
Whitecaps FC Island Regional Head Coach

Dan Lenarduzzi
Whitecaps FC Director of Soccer Development