VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced on Friday that the club’s Northern Academy Centre network has expanded west to include programs in Prince Rupert, Terrace, and Kitimat. The new programs are in partnership with the Prince Rupert Youth Soccer Association (PRYSA), the Terrace Youth Soccer Association (TYSA), and the Kitimat Youth Soccer Association (KYSA). They join current programs at the main Northern Academy Centre in Prince George, as well as the Cariboo.
“We’re thrilled to expand our programs in Northern BC to include Prince Rupert, Terrace, and Kitimat,” said Dan Lenarduzzi, Whitecaps FC director of soccer development. “We thank the local soccer associations for their tremendous efforts in partnering together, notably Mike Cavin from the PRYSA, Sean Bujtas from the TYSA, and Alex Ramos-Espinoza from the KYSA. Bringing high level coaching and programs to these communities is part of our long-term vision to support BC Soccer and Canada Soccer in growing the game in our province, and throughout the country.”
Participation in the Northwest BC Prospects Academy is by invite only. All players must go through an evaluation process to be selected. The inaugural evaluations will take place between April 18 to 23, with programs starting in May. Information on registration and locations will be posted at a later date at whitecapsfc.com/princerupert and whitecapsfc.com/terracekitimat. Those interested in registering for the upcoming spring programs can sign-up at the link below.
*Please note that the registration deadline for the PRYSA is this coming Monday, February 28.
The Northwest BC Prospects Academy will be for motivated and advanced boys and girls from U-10 to U-18 and will run over a 10-month period in three phases: Spring, Fall, and Winter. The program will be overseen by Whitecaps FC Northern Academy head coach Craig Angus, who is completing his UEFA ‘A’ license, with further investment in another qualified coach added to the region soon.
“PRYSA is very happy to have Vancouver Whitecaps FC opening an academy centre in Prince Rupert and Terrace this spring,” noted Mike Cavin, PRYSA president. “The expertise that the program will bring to our players and coaches will be invaluable. It will allow players from Northwest BC to have similar opportunities as other players from around the province.”
“When I brought my own soccer team to Provincials to play each year, I could always recognize the teams who had worked with Whitecaps FC academies by their strong play,” added TYSA vice president Sean Bujtas. “This encouraged me to reach out to Whitecaps FC in the hopes that they would bring an academy to Northwest BC. Terrace Youth Soccer Association is excited and proud to be partnering with Vancouver Whitecaps FC. We look forward to this new opportunity and to growing the sport of soccer in Terrace and Northwest BC.”
“KYSA is thrilled to be partnering with Vancouver Whitecaps FC for their academy expansion to Northwest BC,” said Alex Ramos-Espinoza, KYSA president. “Our partnership will emphasize the commitment to and love of the sport; a sentiment that is shared amongst our communities.”
Players in the Northwest BC program will receive regular visits from Northern Academy and Vancouver staff for additional training and evaluation. They will also have the opportunity to be selected for the High Potential Prospects (HPP) program, joining other top players from the Whitecaps FC Academy Centre network in tournaments and camps for further evaluation.
Whitecaps FC Academy Centres are a network of regional training hubs linked through key staff, curriculum, and standards that provide professional supplemental club training for serious, motivated players. In total, Whitecaps FC are home to 20 academy centre locations in eight of 10 provinces across Canada. In addition to Northern BC, regional programs in BC include Vancouver, Vancouver Island, the Okanagan, Kamloops, and the Kootenays. Whitecaps FC are proud to support founding provincial partners BC Soccer, while working together on academy centre programs with the Alberta Soccer Association, Saskatchewan Soccer Association, Manitoba Soccer Association, Soccer Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador Soccer Association, and the Prince Edward Island Soccer Association – with additional Ontario locations in London and Ottawa.
For more information on Whitecaps FC Academy Centre programs, visit whitecapsfc.com/academy.