Prince Rupert’s young soccer talent sharpened their skills as the first session of the Vancouver Whitecaps spring soccer academy got underway.
Twelve players attended the camp, which took place on the Port Edward Soccer Field on Friday, May 11.
Under the watchful eye of head coach Eric Horsburgh, the players went through a series of ball handling and spacing drills before splitting up to play in some mini-scrimmage games.
Horsburgh said this was the first time a lot of the players were playing extensively on grass this year, so the goal of the practice was to get them warmed up and used to the feel and bounce of the ball on the different surface.
“We’ve done a lot of work over the winter in terms of our technical ability, so today a lot of what we’re doing is getting the improvements we’ve made during the winter onto grass,” he said.
Horburgh said he’s seen a lot of progress with the players he has worked with since coming to the northwest to coach for the Whitecaps. A number of the players present are approaching their senior years in highschool, and are beginning to consider playing at the university level. Horsburgh said the gains they make during training will translate to scenarios where the players will be under pressure to perform.
“When they go away to college or tryouts or their select teams, the practices will improve their quality because they’ll know certain techniques and things to do during the game,” he said. “That’s what we’re hoping to do to help them improve as players.”
The camp continues at the Port Edward Soccer Field every Friday until July 27. For more information visit the Whitecaps northern academy website at www.whitecapsfc.com/youth/programs/prince-rupert.