VANCOUVER, BC - Vancouver Whitecaps FC hosted Alberta’s Regional Performance Centre (RPC) for a weekend of training and mutual development last month. Players from Alberta's top talent pool came and spent time training with the Whitecaps FC Girls Elite REX program.
It was a chance for some of the best players from both BC and Alberta to showcase their skills while competing at a high level.
“It's an opportunity for them to be seen,” highlighted Girls Elite REX head coach Emma Humphries. “The CSA came out to the games to assess all players.”
The Alberta Regional Performance Centre consists of the 16 to 24 most talented players from both the north and south of the province. The athletes are eligible between U-14 and U-18 age groups, training both in Calgary and Edmonton.
After a long travel, they were in for a busy weekend.
“They played a game on Friday against the BC Soccer girls and then they came out for a training session with our staff on Saturday. While their staff were present, we did a ‘typical day out with the Whitecaps’ with their players — both in the classroom and on the pitch,” Humphries added.
The weekend ended with a friendly game between the ‘Caps and the Alberta RPC girls. All-in-all, the event was an important step forward in Canadian women's soccer development with cooperation between provinces with high performance players.
“It was great to be able to see what else was out there in a similar sized talent pool," added Humphries. "Alberta has about 40,000 female players and we have about 50,000. So it’s a good comparison to see where the players were at and to track their development against similar competition.”
At the same time it was exciting for Humphries’ girls to challenge themselves against other girls.
“It’s great for the competition within REX because they play boys every week, but to play against good quality female opposition is what they all love to do.”
Both teams, BC Soccer, and the CSA were happy with the outcome. While no date has been set for another visit, Humphries looks forward to welcoming a few Alberta teams for the Whitecaps FC Showcase in March
“Which is awesome because we’ll get to see some of them play again. And possibly get a team to play against our Whitecaps girls as well.”