A lack of available players and the region’s inability to field multiple teams left the Prince Rupert Football Club (PRFC) without a tournament this past weekend, one they were hoping to host for the first time in three years within the city.
“It was going to be teams from Kispiox, Gitanyow, Terrace and Hazelton but they all started falling out [of the tournament] because workers were going back to camps, some of them are firefighters and younger players are going to school. It’s just bad timing,” said team manager James Brown.
The teams are not bound by any contract to attend any tournaments in the Northwest as there is no formal league, but it’s understood between clubs that teams would reciprocate in kind and attend each other’s host tournaments if one attends the other’s.
The team wanted to host a gathering during Seafest, but found the dates conflicted with other tournaments that were being held on the same weekend, specifically Kispiox’s Father’s Day soccer tournament.
“Out of respect, we were going to delay it, but then after that it was too busy because our own teams had weddings and there was other stuff so we went with Labour Day,” said Brown.
“It was the summer of weddings.”
This past season saw PRFC win two tournaments – in Kitwanga and Gitsegukla – and come in second twice – at Terrace and Greenville.
“We were happy with the way things went. We could have planned our tournaments earlier [collectively] but due to circumstances we went with this date. Otherwise I’m not disappointed in the season. All the players stood up and took on their roles well,” said the manager.
The team paced themselves this year in order to save their strength for the would-be tournament last weekend. Last season, they attended too many out-of-town games and wore themselves out by the time the end of the summer rolled around.
The team finishes the 2014 season with $10,700 in prize money.
“We’re going to try to help out the wildlife shelter [with some of it],” said Brown.
Indoor soccer now takes over Prince Rupert as the Civic Centre and PRFC’s Matt Anderson will host Tuesday and Wednesday evening play times. Registration information can be found in the Prince Rupert Recreation Active Living and Community Resource Guide.