VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced today plans for this year’s Island Academy, which includes a broader regional-based Island program, a new regional head coach in Craig Angus, and a more integrated program with the club’s Vancouver Academy. Whitecaps FC are also pleased to announce that The Arbutus Meadows Arena will become the Island Academy’s official indoor training centre.
“We’re very excited to enter our second year of programming at our Whitecaps FC Island Academy,” said Whitecaps FC director of soccer development Dan Lenarduzzi. “We’d like to thank Claude Bolton and Harbour City FC for working with us to build our programs in year one and we look forward to working with all clubs, associations, and players on the Island as we continue to move in a direction that supports everyone in the region.”
As part of the changes, Whitecaps FC are pleased to announce Craig Angus as Island Academy regional head coach. The native of Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, England was an assistant coach with the Island Academy during the inaugural year after spending five years as a youth development coach with fellow Major League Soccer (MLS) club New York Red Bulls’ Academy. Assisting Angus will be Kevin Lindo, who was also a youth development coach with New York Red Bulls before most recently working as a lead development coach with English club Middlesbrough FC.
“We are excited to have Craig on board to lead the program,” noted Lenarduzzi. “Craig is a great young coach and, as part of his development, he will work closely with our Vancouver staff to integrate the programs and provide us with continuity and stability going forward.”
Angus will be overseen by Whitecaps FC Pre-Residency and Academy centre head coach Bart Choufour, who will make regular visits to the Island Academy. To further enhance the Vancouver and Island academy centre connection, both Angus and Lindo will be in Vancouver on weekends to work with Choufour and Girls Elite head coach Jesse Symons as part of the Vancouver Academy, Residency, and Girls Elite programs. In addition, as part of the programming, there will be select training weekends in Vancouver, and opportunities for select players to come and train in the Vancouver programs.
In order to support soccer throughout the island, Whitecaps FC’s Island Academy will work closely with the Vancouver Island Premier League, as well as continuing to support EA SPORTS BC Soccer Premier League (BCSPL) programming – a Whitecaps FC partner league and the club’s main youth scouting vehicle – including forwarding players to the Victoria-based Vancouver Island Wave.
2013-14 ISLAND ACADEMY PROGRAMS
Whitecaps FC will continue to offer a Prospects and Skills Academy, with the two programs now integrated more closely. The Skills Academy will now be called the Skills Pre-Prospects (PP) Academy. It will be open to motivated island players ages U-8 to U-12 and act as a development feeder for the invite-only Prospects program for ages U-12 to U-17.
The Skills PP Academy is now open for registration. Phase one and two of the program will run Tuesday evenings at the Arbutus Meadows Arena. U-8 to U-10 boys and girls will run from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. and U-11 and U-12 boys and girls will run 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Players must go through an evaluation process and be selected for the Prospects program. The evaluation schedule is as follows:
• U-12 Boys (Born 2002 to 2004)
Evaluation: Monday, September 30, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
• U-14 Boys (2000/2001) U-16 to U-18 Boys (1996 to 1999).
Evaluation: Monday, September 30, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
• U-12 Girls (2002 to 2004)
Evaluation: Wednesday October 2, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
• U-14 Girls (2000/2001) U-16 to U-18 Girls (1996 to 1999)
Evaluation: Wednesday, October 2, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
All selected players will begin training the following week at the same times and days as the evaluations. All evaluations and regular sessions for Phase one and two will be at the Arbutus Meadows Arena.
For more information and to register, please visit online at whitecapsfc.com/academy
and select the Island Academy Centre options.
Whitecaps FC Island Regional Head Coach
Whitecaps FC Administrator