Whitecaps make assist with soccer

The local Whitecaps FC academy centre is held at Nanoose Bay’s Arbutus Meadows Equestrian Centre during the fall and winter.

Ava Alexander trains at Vancouver Whitecaps FC Academy Centre practice on Monday night at the Arbutus Meadows Equestrian Centre at Nanoose Bay. Alexander is the Vancouver Whitecaps FC Upper Island Academy Centre Player of the Year.

Ava Alexander trains at Vancouver Whitecaps FC Academy Centre practice on Monday night at the Arbutus Meadows Equestrian Centre at Nanoose Bay. Alexander is the Vancouver Whitecaps FC Upper Island Academy Centre Player of the Year.

The Whitecaps academy helps ensure high-level players are getting all the soccer they can handle.

“I have like six days of soccer a week, but it’s fine,” said Nanaimo’s Ava Alexander, who was recently chosen as the Vancouver Whitecaps FC Upper Island Academy Centre Player of the Year.

Alexander, 13, has trained with the Whitecaps academy since she was seven, and has seen her extra work rewarded – she was part of the Upper Island Storm U14 team that won Island, Coastal and B.C. championships this year.

She said the additional academy training helped her learn techniques that she has been able to apply in game situations.

“It’s just really good drills and good coaching. It’s made me a lot better of a player,” Alexander said. “The drills are really focusing on certain things that will help with certain skills.”

The local Whitecaps academy centre is held at Nanoose Bay’s Arbutus Meadows Equestrian Centre during the fall and winter before moving outdoors in the spring. There will be an upcoming winter intake for players.

“First and foremost we are a supplementary training,” said Kevin Lindo, the Whitecaps FC Academy Centre’s Vancouver Island coach. “We don’t take them away from their clubs, we just offer an extra night of training and a bit of exposure to the way the Whitecaps do things.”

He said the academy offers flexibility. Players don’t have to train there year-round, and might come in and out depending on when they have the need or desire for additional practice.

The Whitecaps FC academy program can provide more than just coaching, as there are some playing opportunities, Lindo said. Recently, 40 Island players went over to Vancouver for a high-potential player identification event.

“We try and provide the young players here a platform and a pathway to get some exposure over there if they would like it,” Lindo said.

The academy is for boys and girls from U8-U18. There is an evaluation component to registration.

“Obviously we’re not looking for the finished article, but we’re looking for motivated players,” Lindo said.

To learn more, visit www.whitecapsfc.com.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com

Just Posted

Robin Dutton, left, and Peter Sinclair are taking their mountain bikes and travelling down trails in the Mount Benson area June 19 as part of a 24-hour fundraiser benefiting Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Full-day mountain bike ride event raises money for Nanaimo food bank

Event part of Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank’s Food 4 Summer campaign

According to a staff report, Regional District of Nanaimo has seen some $13.6 million in grant applications approved between Jan. 1 and May 15. (News Bulletin file)
Close to $14 million in money granted to RDN in first half of year

Successful grants include more than $4 million for transit service in Regional District of Nanaimo

A section of the rail corridor on Vancouver Island. (Black Press file photo)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Put rail trail right overtop of the tracks

Removing tracks would be a horrendous expense, says letter writer

District of Lantzville Mayor Mark Swain, left, and Snaw-Naw-As Chief Gordon Edwards sign a memorandum of understanding outside Snaw-Naw-As Market on Friday, June 18. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Lantzville and Snaw-Naw-As sign memorandum of understanding

District and First Nation create joint working group

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Culling cutlines, not B.C. wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

The government has turned to killing hundreds of wolves in an effort to keep caribou around

Janice Coady, left, Aimee Chalifoux and Linda Milford at a vigil for Amy Watts on Wednesday, June 16, outside Nanaimo city hall. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
‘We need to do better,’ says mother of woman killed in Nanaimo

Vigil held for former outreach worker Amy Watts, whose body was found downtown June 3

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Most Read