Vancouver Whitecaps officials Brett Adams and Craig Angus were in Terrace Nov. 19 proposing the idea of starting a Whitecaps Academy in three communities here in the north. With support from Terrace and pending support from Smithers and Prince Rupert assocations

Whitecaps soccer academy coming to Rupert

A Vanvouver Whitecaps FC soccer academy will be kick-starting in Terrace, Smithers and Prince Rupert next spring.

A Vanvouver Whitecaps FC soccer academy will be kick-starting in Terrace, Smithers and Prince Rupert next spring, aiming to build up the skill-level in the northwest and field more opportunities for youth.

The academy will employ a high-level Whitecaps coach in Terrace to run programs in the three communities year-round, training children and youth in the technical skills of soccer.

Besides boosting the level of competition in the north, the academy will open opportunities for youth to pursue the sport after high school, said Sean Bujtas, who is a coach with the Terrace Youth Soccer Association (TYSA) and actually prompted the academy’s move.

“I hope that it will help grow the sport, and will help us grow the calibre of player we’re producing in the northwest,” Bujtas said. “But more importantly, it should open doors for our kids to play soccer beyond Terrace.”

Right now, northwestern players rarely earn soccer scholarships because of the limited opportunities for them to be seen by scouts, Bujtas said.

“Most of our kids when they go to university, they have to do walk-on tryouts… but probably some of those kids could have gotten scholarships if they’d gotten seen.”

He says that the Whitecaps academy will provide a platform for the elite players of the northwest to travel and play more competitively where they can be seen by university scouts.

Whitecaps official Brett Adams said the academy will start in May and be based in Terrace, with the coach travelling weekly to Prince Rupert and Smithers to run programs there, provided they get support from those soccer associations.

Adams said they don’t know exactly how it will look yet, but it will involve bringing in a top-level coach.

“We would employ a highly qualified, full-time member of staff to live and work out of that area,” Adams said.

Whitecaps FC is an independent soccer company, however it works with the soccer associations and will organize programs around the regular summer schedule.

TYSA sent their support last week and, based on the enthusiasm of everyone at a meeting in Terrace Nov. 19, approval is expected from Smithers and Prince Rupert associations within the month.

“We are offering it to the three areas, and if there is an uptake, we will come,” Adams said.

There would be no cost to the associations and Bujtas says the idea was very well received.

“Everybody thought it was fantastic and great for the north,” Bujtas said.

He added that Terrace parents and TYSA directors “were very keen and see this as a great opportunity.”

The whole move was prompted by a simple phone call from Bujtas after provincials this summer, where he noticed emerging skill in the girls team from Nelson, where an academy opened in 2012.

Now if all goes as expected, youth ages 9-18 will tryout for the first Whitecaps academy north of Prince George next May.

 

Just Posted

Another windstorm expected Monday, causing ferry delay

With another windstorm expected to hit Haida Gwaii on Monday afternoon, BC… Continue reading

Grim situation in coming year for northwest, B.C. fisheries

Annual post-season review in Prince Rupert informs DFO on how to manage 2019 fishing season

Nurses wanted, Northern Health promotes Prince Rupert in new video

There are 38 nursing job positions available in the area

Charles Hays Secondary students steal the show

Students put on a production of 9 to 5 the musical at the Lester Centre

Heart of Our City: From the boat to the classroom

Rod Hikida has taught generations of Prince Rupert Students

Prince Rupert Rampage host Teddy Bear night

The Prince Rupert Rampage teamed up with the Salvation Army to give back this weekend

Shop Prince Rupert is back

These businesses are all taking part in the Shop Prince Rupert event until December 21 at noon

Break-in at home of detained Chinese Huawei executive

Meng Wanzhou was detained in Vancouver on America’s request

Natural gas rates will go up in B.C. on Jan. 1

Regions could pay up to $68 more

Top House Dems raise prospect of impeachment, jail for Trump

It could be an “impeachable offense” if it’s proven that President Donald Trump directed illegal hush-money payments to women during the 2016 campaign.

Macron addresses France amid protests; is it too late?

Paris monuments reopened, cleanup workers cleared debris and shop owners tried to put the city on its feet again Sunday.

CUPE calls off Flair Airlines job action citing job security concerns

The union says it’s going to challenge Flair’s move at the Canada Industrial Relations Board before proceeding with any job action.

Trump looking at several candidates for new chief of staff

Trump’s top pick for the job, Nick Ayers, is out of the running and Trump is now soliciting input on at least four individuals.

Canadian physicist collects Nobel Prize

Canada’s Donna Strickland is one of three winners of this year’s Nobel Prize for Physics.

Most Read