For Parker Shaw Lazier and Jake Anderson being accepted to Metro Ford BC Soccer Premier League (BCSPL) teams is an opportunity like none other, the two local teens will be training and playing in higher level leagues preparing them for their future soccer careers.
“I think I will improve a lot playing this much and at this level. I think I will excel in this environment down here,” said Lazier. Similarly, Anderson feels that the number of games will help develop his game.
“I think it’s going to help bring me up a level, because there is only so much training you can do, nothing can really replace a game,” said Anderson.
Both players have garnered attention due to the skill, talent, and dedication they bring to the game.
“Parker is a central defender that is very athletic, reads the game well, is good at communicating, and is very difficult to beat as a defender so that’s why he has gotten the attention of the team that he has gone to,” said Kootenay Regional Whitecaps Academy head coach Brett Adams.
“Jake is a winger that plays wide, he is very tricky and is good with the ball in his feet. So he offers a lot going forward in an attack and that is why he has been selected,” said Adams.
For both Lazier and Anderson living, training, and playing full-time in Coquitlam will be a new experience.
Lazier left earlier this month to join his U15 BCSPL team where he has already played a couple of matches.
“I think I played really well, it’s a lot more competitive, everybody takes it more seriously,” commented Lazier on the level of competition.
Overnight Lazier had to make the decision to move to Coquitlam upon being offered a spot on the team.
“I found out on a Monday that I would be moving and then I moved the very next day, so I didn’t have much time to pack up,” said Lazier.
Anderson will be training for the summer in Nelson before departing in early September to join his U16 squad.
“I think it is going to be tough for the first bit leaving my family and all of my friends, but I think I will be able to make new friends down there, being on a team of course will definitely help me with that,” said Anderson on the big move.
Going from Nelson into the higher level BCSPL leagues will give Anderson and Lazier the ability to improve their game in a competitive setting.
The acceptance of the two young talents shows great success for the Nelson area soccer program, as well as strength for the Whitecaps Football Club.
“This offers them the opportunity to be in Vancouver to play competitive soccer week in week out and to challenge themselves against some of the best players in British Columbia,” said Adams. “It gives them every single opportunity to reach their full potential whatever that may be.”
The future looks bright for the two local footballers. Lazier had a tryout with the Whitecaps Residency Team and through his experience in the combine he was connected with his current BCSPL team for a tryout.
“I am on their radar now, I train with the team I am on full time, I hope to gain recognition to tryout again with the Whitecaps Residency Team,” said Lazier.
By playing and training at a higher level Lazier and Anderson will be exposed to more experience which positions them for college or university picks in the future.
“I am hoping in the next couple years to be able to move to college or university level soccer. I guess we will see where it takes me. It is something I have been looking forward to for a while,” said Anderson.
The link forged through B.C. Soccer and the Whitecaps Football Club has been incremental in the movement and opportunities offered to the two players.
“It’s obviously a massive success for us to be able to get players from this area to go into that standard, and that has come through the Whitecaps program which is a link we forged with BC Soccer and the BCSPL teams,” said Adams
“We hope that these are the first players of many to be able to go into that BCSPL league.”
For local players in the Nelson area, seeing the Whitecaps coming into an area to develop local talent gives them hope.
“We’ve got such talent within the association, and that’s obviously down to the great work that Nelson youth soccer has done previously. We are now just trying to take it on to the next level,” said Adams.