“We are very proud of the continued investment to grow the women’s game, and this is another step forward to further player development,” added Rhian Wilkinson, Whitecaps FC Girls Elite REX head coach. “Our goal is to support players every step of the way to reach their potential.”
Beginning this fall, Vancouver Whitecaps FC will be adding full-time Pre-MLS Academy and Pre-Girls Elite teams to the club structure.
Players at the U-14 age level will be identified and selected through the BC Soccer Premier League (BCSPL) and BC Soccer Provincial Program. Teams will train four times per week at the Whitecaps FC training field at Simon Fraser University (SFU), under the Whitecaps FC curriculum, with weekly competitive matches against select competition and MLS academy teams.
Only local players will be selected for this age group, and all players will remain at their own schools.
“We are looking forward to welcoming U-14 players back into our full-time development structure,” said Craig Dalrymple, Whitecaps FC player development & recruitment director. “We are excited with our revised format for this age group, with evening-based training, and an enhanced competition platform, enabling the players to be best prepared to eventually step up into the U-15 MLS Academy squad.”
Additionally, a part-time U-13 program will kick off in January 2020. Players will remain with their BCSPL club, and train with Whitecaps FC once per week, with players then moving into the full-time U-14 squad.
Pre-Academy players will move on to the full-time Whitecaps FC MLS Academy at the National Soccer Development Centre (NSDC), and the Girls Elite REX program in partnership with BC Soccer.
Staffing and team rosters will be announced before the end of the current school year.