VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced on Tuesday that Marinos Papageorgopoulos has been named full-time Academy Centre director and associate head coach.
Papageorgopoulos will oversee and manage the operations of Whitecaps FC Academy Centres, in particular the new provincial academy centres across Canada. Papageorgopoulos will work closely with Whitecaps FC Academy Centre technical director and head coach Bart Choufour, who leads all technical development, curriculum, and coaching development. Choufour has been instrumental in leading the academy centre expansion over the last year.
Prior to his move to Vancouver, Papageorgopoulos held the position of technical director for the Manitoba Soccer Association (MSA) since 2014, as well as Whitecaps FC Manitoba head coach since the club’s academy centre launched in 2015.
“We are very pleased to bring Marinos on board with Whitecaps FC,” noted Dan Lenarduzzi, Whitecaps FC director of soccer development. “Our first provincial academy centre outside of BC was in Manitoba. Marinos was instrumental in bringing that together along with the vision and leadership of the Manitoba Soccer Association. Marinos has a great understanding of the workings at the club, provincial, and national levels, as well as having strong relationships with the provinces and the Canadian Soccer Association. This hiring signals a further investment by Whitecaps FC in our Canadian development network. Marinos will be instrumental in the services that we bring to the associations, clubs, and players in these provincial centres and communities.”
A former semi-professional player in Greece, Papageorgopoulos is a Canadian ‘A’ and UEFA ‘B’ license head coach and has attended Futuro III and Grassroots development courses with FIFA.
Stepping in for Papageorgopoulos as Whitecaps FC Manitoba head coach will be newly named MSA technical director Mike Vitulano.
The Whitecaps FC Academy Centre network is now in eight of 10 provinces across Canada, including 10 locations in British Columbia and provincial association partnerships in Alberta, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. The club’s first provincial affiliation was with founding provincial partners BC Soccer, which includes working together on the the EA SPORTS BC Soccer Premier League, the BC Soccer High Performance program, the Girls Elite BC Regional EXCEL Centre (REX), and the boys Residency program.
For more information on Whitecaps FC Academy Centres, visit whitecapsfc.com/academy.