Several young local soccer players had a chance to meet with a potential future coach earlier this month at a special session at Nelson’s Soccer Quest indoor facility.
The University of Calgary women’s soccer coach, Matt Shepherd, visited Nelson during his recruitment tour to see how the new crop of female soccer players are progressing.
“When you come into areas like this you always find some gems,” said Shepherd.
“I’m looking for maybe one or two players that are really outstanding, so I think there’s definitely a couple players here that I’m potentially interested in coming to U of C.”
Shepherd has been the Dino’s coach since last May and after going through a rebuilding process he says they’re ready to move forward and finalize the recruiting process for next year.
“I think we’ve got a good base for this year moving forward, we’ve got some good recruits coming and so I’m just looking to finalize that process now recruiting for this year and looking even beyond this year,” he said.
Shepherd coached the BC provincial women’s team in 2003 and 2004, a team which went on to win nationals.
“We had probably four or five players from the interior on that squad… I’ve always felt that the interior talent is overlooked,” said Shepherd, who met with about 13 girls from the area ages 16 and 17.
“Having a culture within any town or a city that’s got high number playing the game… that only contributes to player development down the road… 1,400 players in a town of 10,000 — that’s pretty amazing,” he said.
“This is the start of a relationship so I’m looking to build that over the coming years because I see this as an exciting growth area for soccer and it has a lot of potential down the road.”