Whitecaps expand Cranbrook operations

Cranbrook Skills Centre evolves into Kootenay East Prospects Academy

Taylor Rocca

Vancouver’s professional soccer team is expanding its presence in Cranbrook.

The Vancouver Whitecaps of Major League Soccer, partnered with the Kootenay East Youth Soccer Association (KEYSA) to provide the Whitecaps Cranbrook Skills Centre in September 2013. In a matter of a year, the program has been advanced in an effort to further develop soccer talent in the Cranbrook and Kimberley area.

“Within that year, we’ve seen such an improvement with the level and ability [of participating players],” said Whitecaps regional head coach Brett Adams Wednesday afternoon. “We decided it was only right to move the [Kootenay East] area on to the next level so that we can start to give some of those more committed players a chance and an opportunity to be taught by a professional club.”

Wednesday night marked the first session of the Kootenay East Prospects Academy, which houses 80 players, boys and girls, ranging from U-10 to U-18.

Players were invited to join the program following tryouts in late August. Approximately 100 hopefuls auditioned for the local academy. That is a vital difference between the former Skills Centre and the Prospect Academy. The Skills Centre was open to participants of all ages and abilities, with a focus on developing basic soccer skills.

“With any program that we run, we want to encourage that fun element and the ability for players not to be frightened to make mistakes,” said Adams, who holds a UEFA ‘A’ license, the highest coaching license one can obtain. “But this prospects group certainly goes more towards the finer points of the game.

“We’re now trying to improve [player] skills and let them see where that fits within the game.”

The Kootenay East Prospects Academy isn’t the only Whitecaps program in the Kootenays. The Vancouver-based club also operates the Fernie School Academy, which also began sessions Wednesday night. The Fernie program is designed similarly to the previous Cranbrook Skills Centre, with all interested welcome to participate.

On the west side of the Kootenays lies the Kootenay West Prospects Academy in Nelson. It functions just as the Cranbrook academy does.

Between the Cranbrook and Nelson academies, there is a total of 240 participants enrolled.

Adams oversees operations at both Kootenay academies, planning sessions from top to bottom. Assistant coach Sam Heap will run the sessions in Cranbrook, while Adams does the same in Nelson.

The Kootenay East Prospect Academy’s fall sessions run from Sept. 17 through Nov. 19. Once the snow melts, the program will recommence in the spring. Dates for spring sessions will be released at a later time.

“It’s okay having a player for 10 weeks, but then if you don’t see him again for 20 [weeks], players forget things,” Adams said. “Continuity and repetition is what we’re about.

“The more you see a player, the better they become. They start picking up good habits and they start learning and challenging themselves. That’s one of the big things, we’re trying to keep these players together all year long.”

The Whitecaps run similar prospect academies in Kamloops, Prince George, Vancouver and Vernon. Adams plans to set up tournaments around the province as well as a training weekend in Vancouver, allowing players to gain valuable experience in a more competitive environment.

Adams wished to thank KEYSA for its participation and embracing of the Whitecaps programs in the East Kootenays.

“Without these fantastic volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A case of Covid-19 was identified at Cranbrook Montessori Pre-School last week.
Covid identified at Cranbrook Montessori

A case of Covid-19 was identified at Cranbrook Montessori Pre-School last week.… Continue reading

The 2020 Wasa Triathlon was cancelled. Above, the bike portion of the 2019 event. Bulletin file
Gerick Sports Wasa Triathlon committee is going ahead with planning 2021 event

Lots of uncertainty, but the committee has decided its too early to cancel

Bootleg Gap Golf Course has been sold to Simkins Golf Management Inc. for $3 million.
Bootleg Gap Golf Course sold to Simkins Golf Management for $3 million

After the decision was made to sell back in October 2019, Council… Continue reading

Dorothy Kilgallen, circa 1952 (irishamerica.com)
Booknotes: Fearless reporter among the greatest of all time

Mike Selby “Success has not changed Frank Sinatra,” wrote journalist Dorothy Kilgallen… Continue reading

1913
It happened this week in 1913

Nov. 29 – Dec. 5: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

The Village of Salmo has told Cody Puckett and Ashley Nelson that clearing land at this property doesn’t constitute building a property according to a bylaw. Photo: Submitted
Work in progress? Salmo family, village at odds over property construction

Cody Puckett says he’s being evicted from his own land, which the village disputes

Melissa David, of Parachutes for Pets and her dogs Hudson and Charlie are trying to raise money for a homeless shelter that will allow pets and are seen in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘My only wish:’ Children asking pet charity to help their furry friends at Christmas

Parachutes for Pets says it has received 14 letters from children in the last week t

Melissa Velden and her chef-husband Chris Velden, stand in their dining room at the Flying Apron Inn and Cookery in Summerville, N.S. on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. The couple is hosting holiday parties with appropriate distancing and other COVID-19 health protocols in place at their restaurant. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Celebrities, Santa and Zoom part of office holiday parties being held amid COVID-19

Many will send tokens of appreciation to workers or offer time off or cash

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Richard Reeves examines a painted film strip in his home studio. Photo: Aaron Hemens
PHOTOS: Pandemic inspires creativity for Creston animator Richard Reeves

For more than 30 years, Richard Reeves has been creating abstract animated short-films by drawing and painting images onto strips of film.

Good Samaritan Mountainview Village located at 1540 KLO Road in Kelowna. (Good Samaritan Society)
First long-term care resident dies from COVID-19 in Interior Health

Man in his 80s dies following virus outbreak at Mountainview Village

Most Read