A special training program for soccer players is coming to the Alberni Valley, compliments of the Vancouver Whitecaps.
The ‘Caps have chosen Port Alberni to host the first Island Skills Academy on Vancouver Island.
According to avsoccer.com, Alberni Valley Youth Soccer has previously partnered with Harbour City FC to offer Skills Academy-Alberni.
“Our Island regional coach Claude Bolton knows the president of the soccer association there in Alberni and he likes what they are doing,” Whitecaps spokesperson Dan Lenarduzzi said. “The facilities there are supposed to be excellent, so it seems like the natural place to start outside of Nanaimo.”
The academy will launch in January and run through August. Coaches will conduct supplementary soccer training to boys and girls in the under-nine and under-12 divisions plus.
A separate goaltending academy is presently offered in Nanaimo, and could be in the offing in Port Alberni as well depending on how things go, Lenarduzzi said.
The advantages of the clinics is that they help plant the soccer bug in players earlier. The most skilled players get on the Whitecaps radar sooner, and ultimately have a chance of plugging into the Vancouver Whitecaps FC Prospects Program or girls elite program.
The clinics will be taught by Bolton, who will be assisted by Whitecaps youth coaches as well as by local coaches.
The clinics are also taught in Nanaimo, the Okanagan and in the Kootenays. They’ve also run in Vancouver at the Whitecaps’ facility for more than two years.
For information about the initiative call Alien Sports at 250-723-9929.