Princess Margaret soccer academy kicks off

Soccer academy open to students in school district, including international

McKenzie Ricard

McKenzie Ricard

The Princess Margaret South Okanagan Soccer Centre has started for another year.

Students train five sessions a week and receive soccer specific fitness and weight training in the course. The academy setting offers keen students a chance to receive focused daily training during the school day and school credits. The program offers PFC players a chance for extra training and high level coaching during a break in their competitive seasons.

“Players like the high level of skill development and balance of skill building with game play and systems and soccer specific fitness,” said instructor John Buckley, who played four years for the University of Victoria Vikes and coached a Pinnacles Football Club district boys team and the Mustangs girls team to provincial titles, the latter title last spring. “Internationals love the chance to play soccer in school setting course in Canada with students from other countries all over the world.”

The academy starts outdoors for September and October at Maggie and Kings Park before heading indoors in the Adidas Sportsplex for November to February. Players receive a detailed written individual evaluation that analyzes skills and concepts covered in the course.

The academy is available to all students in School District #67. The academy has international flavor from from Spain, Germany, Brazil, Korea and Japan to enhance course offerings to local district players and developing athletes from Penticton.  Students can attend their catchment secondary school in the morning and train each afternoon in an elite setting that focuses on individual skills, team systems, fitness and higher level strategies.  Program players receive full training gear, bags and soccer cleats as part of the course offerings.

The program is fresh off a great year last season that saw 18 girls contribute towards the 22-member Mustangs team which won a gold medal at the BC Provincial Championships.  Senior McKenzie Ricard has moved on to play with the University of Northern British Columbia’s Timberwolves team in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport league. Caitlyn Spooner earned a scholarship to Quest University after three years in the academy, Cole Kingzett plays for the UBC-O Heat and James Fraser is overseas in Holland. Grade 12 senior Nicole Mann is attending the UVIC Fall ID camp and Grade 11 goalkeeper Brady van Ryswyk is attracting university attention from the Vikes men’s program.