The Sunshine Coast Youth Soccer Association (SCYSA) is making a commitment to developing its coaches and in turn developing its players to make the association even stronger.
Long time coach Ken Campbell has been hired by the SCYSA as the new technical director. Campbell will be responsible for the development of Coast players and coaches in accordance with the Canadian Soccer Association’s (CSA) wellness to World Cup and long-term player development program. He will also be responsible for the development of a soccer academy here on the Coast.
“I’m nervous and excited, but in a good way,” said Campbell. “The CSA is making a commitment that every coach in Canada is at the same level. We have great players and great coaches, but this is an opportunity for us as a country to catch up with the rest of the world.”
Campbell has an impressive resume. At one time he was a reserve-team player for Fulham, has played on two Canadian national championship teams, has B-provincial coaching certification and has been coaching women’s and rep teams on the Coast for 10 years. He also is a standout in the men’s league here on the Coast.
“Really what we’ve been lacking in the association is the real technical knowledge,” he said. “Between the 80 to 90 coaches, 60 are probably parent volunteers, which is great, but they need the guidance to hopefully make coaching easier for them, and in turn, a better experience for the kids. It really is all about the kids and making them better.”
Starting next weekend, Campbell will be meeting with coaches to begin preparations for the new season and in September, will launch the new soccer academy. The academy will be for players ages nine to 14 and will run three times a year (fall, spring and summer, for 10 weeks each season).
“We’re one of the few communities left in B.C. that does not have a soccer academy. We’re seeing lots of kids, at great expense, going off-Coast to soccer academies,” he said. “Kids want to grow and excel in the sport, so they have to go off-Coast. We want them to have a chance to stay here and play, to grow the game here.
“It’s exciting. We have a great partnership with the Vancouver Whitecaps and we’re going to be more involved with them. I’m going to be available to the coaches seven days a week to help and guide them. We’re committed to helping coaches and the players get to the highest level that they want to attain.”