Sports

Changes for soccer association include new name

The South Okanagan Youth Soccer Association no longer exists.

It has been re-born as the Pinnacles Football Club

“The name change I think is good for the branding,” said Manuel Borba, a board member at large for Pinnacles FC. “It’s not forgetting any of the history that goes back to the Penticton Soccer Club. We want to make sure that the people involved with the name the last 50 years, that it’s not going away from that. Pinnacles FC is the name of the teams in the club.”

That decision was made during its annual general meeting in December. The other change made by the minor soccer group is a shift in its board members. Pat Buchanan, formerly of the Penticton BMX Club, joins the fold along with Steve Grant, athletic director for the Pen High Lakers, and Brad Erb. Tony Patrocinio remains as chair, vice-chair is Carlos Mendonca, treasurer is Derrick Webb, while members at large are Paolo Araujo, Borba, Tony Travao and Sean Bacon. Executive director Ezra Cremers said that each member also receives one vote and that board members are on for two-year terms.

“We didn’t want to see a full board change,” said Cremers.

On the field, Pinnacles FC is determined to develop quality players and that will continue under Cremers, who was given a five-year extension as head coach.

“I think the job that Ezra has done the last year for us has made us realize that we want a long-term commitment from him,” said Borba. “Our kids are really excited that they will be growing up with Ezra for a big part of their soccer development. These next five years are going to help build our program to what we all envisioned it was going to be.”

“It’s a lot of fun here right now from every point of view,” said Cremers, who will be a player/assistant coach with the under-21 team in the Pacific Coast Soccer League.

Borba said it’s important to have continuity in their program.

“We found the right fit with the right guy,” said Borba.

Cremers is excited that they have their winter academy going. There are close to 300 athletes playing at all levels.

“Participation is high,” said Cremers. “The major push right now is our club recreational program, otherwise known as house.”

Pinnacles FC also has registration going with early bird finished on today. While families can sign their children up using traditional forms, online is also available to them.

Cremers is excited about the recreation program this spring and talked about using Desert Park in Osoyoos for kids in that area.

“Oliver and Osoyoos don’t feel like they have to come to indoor facility,” he said. “It’s only used once a week in the spring for baseball.”

Pinnacles FC is also getting ready for its District tryouts, which will be held the first two weeks of March. Cremers said all the information for the players will be posted on www.pinnaclesfc.com.

In other news, Excelsior Rotterdam coach Marco van Lochem has invited 12 players to attend their training facilities in Holland. The kids invited are James Fraser, Xavier Araujo, Bjorn Borren, Christian Martins, Isaac Boehlmer, Adrian Schimmer, Alix Varchol, Lina Campagnaro, Kyra Wallace, Ella Weir, Allyn Deakin and Anya Nazaroff. With the players having to pay their own way, it’s up to the families to decide whether the players will go as it’s not an obligation.

“This is the first time that the kids were picked on merit,” said Borba. “Marco told us he would not pick anyone that could not keep up with the training over there. It’s an honor for these kids to be identified by Marco.”

 

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