Vancouver Whitecaps FC and the Alberta Soccer Association (ASA) have partnered on a player development initiative in Alberta.
Both groups have collaborated to enhance the ASA high performance programming. This included the rebranding of the Regional Performance Centre program in Calgary to include a Boys Residency program in addition to a Girls Elite REX Prospects program. The programs operate out of Calgary and identify top players from clubs in Southern Alberta. The program provides training to the top players from the province with the opportunity to filter into the professional club environment in Vancouver.
Whitecaps FC have placed Ewan Fisher as the club's Alberta Academy Centre head coach, replacing Ricky King who joined the Whitecaps FC full-time Academy program in Vancouver as head coach of the club’s U-19 team.
A native of Glasgow, Scotland, Fisher previously oversaw the Whitecaps FC operations of three Northern-based academies in British Columbia. He joined Whitecaps FC in 2017 from fellow Major League Soccer (MLS) club New York Red Bulls, where he worked together with King. He currently holds UEFA B licence and is currently completing his UEFA A.
As part of the partnership with the provincial association, Fisher will work closely with the ASA to lead Boys Academy while supporting the Girls Elite REX Prospects programs from ages U-13 to U-17. These core programs feed into the Vancouver-based Boys Academy and Girls Elite Super REX pathways. The Vancouver Super REX program is in partnership with BC Soccer, and part of the Canada Soccer EXCEL system. Ricky King’s move to Vancouver and his knowledge of the Alberta players, as well as his relationships in the market, has also supported a pathway for more opportunities for Alberta players in the full-time Vancouver program.
Both the ASA and Whitecaps FC have included a partnership with Calgary Minor Soccer Association (CMSA), the governing body for soccer in Calgary. CMSA provides year-round opportunities for competitive and recreational soccer for youth ages 4 to 18. In addition, CMSA provides developmental and educational opportunities for players, coaches, and referees of all ages and skill levels.
As partners of the CMSA - the governing body of soccer in Calgary – Fisher will also work closely to offer development opportunities to all clubs and associations in the region, including technical visits and services for players and coaches.
In addition to programs in Calgary, Whitecaps FC are building opportunities in Southern Alberta, including Canmore, Chestermere, Lethbridge, and Springbank. While operating in Southern Alberta, Whitecaps FC continue a close relationship with professional club partner FC Edmonton.
For more information on specific regional programs in Alberta, please see below: