Quesnel soccer organizers think they have a solid strike in new head coach Geraldo Ferrari.
It was an unlucky day on the local pitch when previous soccer director Sue Herring reluctantly announced her departure for Victoria, at the end of this past season. However, the hunt for her replacement introduced them to highly decorated and experienced Ferrari who was looking for a community just like this one - an inviting town with a special soccer facility and big goals for footy.
“Myself and my wife, Claudia, have found a town that aligns with our retirement plans and aspirations,” Ferrari told The Observer. “Quesnel seems to have captured our interest, especially with its friendly community and opportunities for growth. It’s wonderful that we had the chance to meet with the (Quesnel Youth Soccer Association, QYSA) board last month and were impressed with the facility and potential to develop the program I am passionate about.”
Ferrari was born in Brazil, but has been as far north as Rankin Inlet to coach soccer since he moved to Canada about 15 years ago. He has been a mainstay of Canada’s national futsal program (a five-on-five indoor variation of soccer) alongside head coach Sipho Sibiya, who was once the executive director of the soccer program in Prince George, so consultation with him would provide much background on the Cariboo.
Ferrari has an extensive resume that includes time coaching the Whitecaps FC academy program, head coach of the Olympic Development Program in Seattle, championship victories as head coach of FC Kitsap in Washington State, technical director of the Grande Cache Soccer Academy in Alberta, and other small towns like East Hants Soccer Club in Nova Scotia and Vasco Soccer Club in New Brunswick, coaching and program design positions in Montreal and Sao Paulo, and was most recently the head coach of Prairie College’s men’s and women’s futsal program in Three Hills, Alberta.
He is experienced as well in developing coaches as much as players, which fits the needs of Quesnel.
“We’re really excited to have him. He’s got a lot of ideas for moving the club forward. He’s already dug into a bunch of good stuff for us,” said QYSA board president Justin Kruger.
One of the appeals offered by Quesnel is the chance to run a set of teams, a set of facilities, and especially the indoor sports building most small towns would slide-tackle their grandmother for.
“Coach Ferrari will be responsible for maintenance of all indoor and outdoor soccer facilities, including overseeing player development, coaching staff, and fostering an overall positive soccer environment,” Kruger said.
The fall season is about to commence. Ferrari knows this as much as anyone, on the parental level, with a child about to start a new soccer season at university - a Division 1 school in Florida, playing on a scholarship.
Here in Quesnel, there are two autumn soccer pathways. Kids can sign up for either, or both. One is the community league which has Saturday games, with volunteer coaches where everyone who shows up gets to play, then a practice once a week. The other stream is the Strikers development program with two weekly practices, and out-of- town tournaments as they become available. The coaches are selected by QYSA “and it’s a much higher intensity level with that group,” Kruger said.
There is also a winter season, for the especially dedicated. They certainly have the facilities - and the head coach - for it.
READ MORE: Kicking things off for Quesnel youth soccer
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