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Quesnel Youth Soccer Association hoping for strong spring season

President Jim Nicholas said the group, like many across the province was affected by the pandemic
Players from the CHemo RV and McDonald’s teams compete for control of the ball during Quesnel Youth Soccer Indoor league action in January 2020. (File Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

The sights and sounds of youngsters chasing a soccer ball will soon return to Quesnel fields.

The Quesnel Youth Soccer Association is gearing up for their spring season, set to begin on Sunday, May 1.

Jim Nicholas is the president of the Quesnel Youth Soccer Association (QYSA). He said the group has faced challenges in retaining players throughout the pandemic.

“Certainly that’s what I’m hearing from a lot of clubs throughout B.C., and not just soccer clubs,” Nicholas said on player numbers declining.

“It’s tough to say, because we often receive a lot of registrations as we get closer to the season actually starting. I’m hopeful we can get somewhere close to where we were pre-pandemic.”

Soccer in Canada appears to be on the rise, with the Canadian Men’s National team qualifying for a World Cup for the first time in 36 years, the Women’s team winning an Olympic gold medal, and new lower level leagues like League One BC starting up.

READ MORE: Canadian men to face Belgium, Croatia and Morocco in opening round at World Cup

“The thing that might be a little bit different than previous years, there’s more options to kids available,” Nicholas said.

“They can play anything from one time to four times a week… We do have more of a focus, certainly on the academy side, in the quality of the coaches.”

Nicholas said the winter season was primarily academy players practicing, but expects those players to get regional games in this spring.

“We’re going to draw players from those programs to play games against Williams Lake, Prince George teams, a tournament in Kamloops in May and that kind of thing,” he said.

Registration at the QYSA is open until the season begins.

READ MORE: Quesnel minor baseball players will face off against similarly aged competition this season

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