Clock ticks on soccer registration

Today is D-day for the South Okanagan Youth Soccer Association’s spring season registration.

Today is D-day for the South Okanagan Youth Soccer Association’s spring season registration.

SOYSA extended registration to keep the costs down for parents. The association also made the decision to freeze its fees. As of Friday morning, SOYSA had over 1,600 kids registered. Last over 2,200 kids were playing.

“We feel we have a great start on it,” said SOYSA administrator Steve Coates, who noted final registrations will be accepted until March 25 with a penalty ($10). “At this point now, we need all the registrations in.”

Parents can bring registration forms in to the Adidas Sportsplex at 550 West Eckhardt Ave. and mailed to Box 24072, V2A 8L9. In Oliver, they can be taken to Sundance Video and Sonora Centre in Osoyoos. Parents can also visit www.soysa.net under registration — spring leagues for detailed information.

Coates said they need time to set schedules as they check field availability and that is why they have chosen dates for registration.

Ezra Cremers, head coach/executive director for SOYSA, is excited to be part of the Pinnacles for his first season.

He has been working with coaches and giving them the tools to have success. Coates said that “Ezra has the ability in one hour to take a parent who has never played and turn them into a reasonable soccer coach.”

Cremers has a simple-to-follow training manual that is web based. As along as parents are keen, they will have the necessary tools.

While Cremers said new programs haven’t been added, existing ones have been upgraded, adding as much value as possible. Cremers has a vision to have every coach knowing the Pinnacles philosophy, which is a possession-attacking style.

“I believe and the committee believes if they give kids more skills, they will have more of a bond,” said Cremers. “It will give them a better experience because they are feeling successful.”

The intention is for the Pinnacles to have more ball possession instead of just booting it first. Cremers intends to work with the kids in the mini program, which is designed to build the foundation for down the road.

“Training to develop players, not to win games,” said Cremers, who will work with under-four to under-11 kids. “Winning is important, but it’s how you win. It’s going to be a very busy spring for myself.”

Cremers will also be taking over the coaching duties of the under-21 men’s Pinnacles team from Tony Munoz.

Meanwhile, the association’s first tournament, the Pinnacles Spring Cup, kicks off March 23 to 25. Coates said there will be teams from Alberta, Northern B.C., the coast, Okanagan and Washington State.