West Kootenay Advertiser
The Kootenay Whitecaps Academy has been busy. Although the spring season still has five sessions left, the team took a trip to Vancouver to attend a Whitecaps game and participate in some training sessions put on by the Vancouver Whitecaps players and staff.
The Kootenay Whitecaps Academy has been around for a couple of years and is one of seven regional centres throughout the province.
Brett Adams, program coordinator and head coach, said there are 250 kids total playing in two prospects centres, one in Cranbrook and one in Nelson. The ages range from 9-18 and include both boys and girls. The academy goes throughout the year from September to April and then breaks for summer for the camps.
Adams said 70 players, mostly from the West Kootenay, went down to Vancouver for the trip, which took place on May 14-16.
“It was a smaller group than we usually take but nevertheless it was a fantastic trip,” he said. “They (the players) got a chance to work with some of the Vancouver based staff. On Thursday (May 14), we went straight to the game and got to watch them (Vancouver Whitecaps) play against the Seattle Sounders, which is the Whitecaps big rival. It was a complete sell-out.”
Adams said on Friday the players participated in two training sessions along with a team bonding exercise. On the final day, the players had another session and then returned to the Kootenays.
“The feedback we received from the head coach, Bart Choufour, is the Kootenays is growing in ability,” said Adams. “The style is changing and the understanding and the level of the players is getting stronger and stronger.”
Adams said some of the players in the academy have been playing for two years now and it’s evident in their play.
“I am very proud of the progress in the last two years,” he said. “We are starting to create some very gifted technical players who want to play the game of soccer the right way.”
The summer camps start July 7-9 with a prospect camp in Cranbrook. The first camp in the West Kootenay is July 13-17 with a skills camp in Nelson. July 27-31 there is a skills camp in Castlegar.
Aug 17-21 is the Nelson prospects camp. Aug. 31-Sept. 2 is the Nelson attacking speed camp/goalkeeper camp.
Adams said the summer camps are open to any young soccer players regardless of whether they are in the Whitecaps program or not. He said campers can expect a fun time with a lot of top notch coaching.
“We’re the only summer camp provider that can boast the highest coaching qualification you can get in world soccer,” he said. “We have very qualified staff. At these camps there will be visits from professional players from Vancouver who will come for the day. We’ll also be visited by the Vancouver based staff.”
Adams said the Kootenay staff is very proud of having their first player move on to university.
Nolan Derosa from Trail has signed with Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops to play with the Wolfpack soccer team next year after playing in the Kootenay Whitecaps Academy for a couple of years.
“He’s 18 and he’s graduating from our program at the end of the spring,” said Adams. “He’s going off to university in Kamloops. That was a link through our program. We got him the try-out and he got himself in. That’s just in a year and a bit’s time. I think Nolan will be the first of many.”
To register for any camps or for more information visit whitecapsfc.com/youth/programs/camps/kootenays-skills-camps or contact Adams at firstname.lastname@example.org.