Close to 100 Whitecaps FC Kootenay Academy soccer players, ranging in ages from eight to 18, travelled to the coast to participate in the Vancouver Whitecaps skills camp last week.
Players from Greater Trail, Nelson, Castlegar, Greenwood, Fernie, Kimberly, Cranbrook, and Invermere hit the pitch Saturday in Vancouver for two development sessions with Whitecaps coaching staff, and were in the classroom Sunday morning to learn about the Whitecaps’ philosophy and approach to the game.
“The weekend was an unbelievable experience for all involved not just for the players but the staff and parents,” said Kootenay Academy coach Brett Adams in an email. “The attitude of the players and the way they conducted themselves is a credit to their families and the Kootenay community.”
The contingent also had an on-field session Sunday before taking a trip to BC Place Stadium to cheer on the Whitecaps as they closed out their Major League Soccer (MLS) season with a 3-0 win over the playoff-bound Colorado Rapids.
All of the young Kootenay players were pitch side for the warm up and had the chance to get autographs and pictures with the Whitecaps.
On Monday, the players competed in a mini tournament within their own age group, showing off their skills in a game situation, before heading back to the Kootenays.
“I was brimming with pride the whole weekend to see 96 of the players giving it there all,” added Adams. “I would like to thank everyone involved for making this happen, a lot of hard work goes into these events and the staff, chaperons, parents, players all made this possible. We are already excited to plan the next event.”
Adams, took over as KSA coach earlier this year. A Nottingham native, he holds a UEFA A coaching license and has over 10 years of youth development coaching experience in England, including time spent with English Championship Club Nottingham Forest.