Kristen Douglas/Mirror file photo Hans Aunet

Unity put Campbell River soccer on the map

Campbell River will field two men's soccer teams this coming season

It’s been two years since the barrier was broken down.

Two years and Cermaq City is stronger than ever, following the amalgamation of two soccer clubs from different sides of the tracks.

The predominantly First Nation Golden Wings club and the Masters FC merged two years ago to become today’s version of Cermaq City.

Coaches Rob Shaw and Peter McWilliams say it was the best thing that could have happened for Campbell River soccer.

“That’s what put Campbell River soccer on the map, that unity,” Shaw says. “Once we decided to unite, we became stronger.”

So strong that Cermaq has quickly risen from a Division 4 team to a Division 1 team in a span of only a few years.

This season will be the club’s first competing in the top tier.

It will also be the first time Campbell River fields two men’s soccer teams.

With rising popularity and an increasing amount of interest from men who have fallen in between the soccer cracks, the club saw a window for expansion.

The new team will play at the Division 4 level and be a feeder team for the Division 1 club.

“We’ve decided to go with this Division 4 team to help promote soccer in the community,” Shaw says. “This system will help bridge a gap.

“It’s a big step to expand men’s soccer in Campbell River and provide more opportunities to play.”

Last season, Cermaq City had 26 players on its roster. Between the two teams, the hope is to next season be able to provide 40 players with field time.

Players range in age from 18 to 35, but McWilliams says the team often appeals to men who are still figuring out their future.

“We try to engage guys who aren’t sure what they’re going to do with school, who are in those years after high school and they’re not sure if they’re going to go to university or go into the trades,” McWilliams says. “Those people who aren’t 100 per cent sure where they’re going to go and stay in the community.”

McWilliams says the team is also hoping to engage workers who are living in Campbell River temporarily for work, such as those working on the hospital and generating station projects, and are looking for something to do during their spare time.

“Even if we can recruit one guy – maybe he’s working on the dam and he’s from Chile,” McWilliams says.

Tryouts for the team begin July 5 at 7 p.m. at Phoenix school and anyone interested is welcome to attend.

There’s a time commitment involved as half of the games during the season involve travel, with many games in Victoria.

But McWilliams says those trips are a “huge bonding experience” and being a part of the team has been a great way to meet new people and make new connections.

“It’s a real sense of community,” McWilliams says. “It’s a healthy outlet for people.”

The season tentatively begins Sept. 17 and runs until March. There is a registration fee of $150 but equipment and jerseys are free of charge thanks to sponsorship from Cermaq which Shaw credits for helping the club with its expansion pursuits.

Anyone interested in joining the team can contact Rob Shaw at rob_shaw_7@hotmail.com or Peter McWilliams at peterthomasmcwilliams@gmail.com

Just Posted

Report: City of Campbell River needs a maintenance plan for Nunns Creek Nature Trust

Extensive ecological inventory shows both the good and the bad of city-leased lands downtown

Campbell River Fire Department douses truck fire on Inland Island Highway

A driver pulled over when the engine in his truck started smoking… Continue reading

High-speed internet connectivity for coastal communities one step closer to reality

Sub-sea fibre-optic cable will circle Vancouver Island and connect the North Coast to Vancouver

The Campbell River Festival of Films announces winter season line up

The Campbell River Festival of Films (CRFF) has unveiled its 2018 Winter… Continue reading

VIDEO: Orcas put on a show near Hornby Island

Louis Jobodin shares photos and video of his experience

WATCH: Giant waves smash Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point

Folks made their way to Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point Lighthouse on Thursday, Jan.… Continue reading

WestJet appeals lost bid to scrap harassment lawsuit

Airline argues judge was wrong to have dismissed the company’s application to strike the legal action

Can U.S. border guards search your phone? Yes, and here’s how

Secretary of homeland security explains a new policy that let’s border guards check phones

‘Beautiful writer’ Nancy Richler dies of cancer in Vancouver hospital

Montreal-born author spent most of her adult life in B.C. as a fiction writer and novelist

Jury convicts spear-wielding Duncan man in 2015 Ladysmith RV park murder

Trever George Meers used a handmade spear to stab Rayna Johnson at the Campers Corners RV Park

Students frustrated by UBCO response to harassment allegations

Students on the Kelowna campus were unaware of resources and worried about lack of communication

Opinion: Dare to be smarter

Just say no works for more than just substance abuse

‘Sing Me a Song’ about B.C. for a chance at $1,000 contest prize

Entries due by March 30 for lieutenant-governor’s British Columbia-themed competition

Facing reality of death, B.C. man learns real meaning of life

Even while preparing for the end, something inside Keven Drews won’t let him stop living

Most Read