Unspun: map of HPL franchise applicants

Here’s a rough map (and I welcome comments that help fine tune it) showing the location and reach of the nine Lower Mainland applicants for HPL franchises.

If you click on one of the coloured areas it shows the name of the applicant and known supporters of their bid.

Again, not claiming this is 100% accurate geographically or in terms of supporters. I’ll update as more info is confirmed.

Playing the role of “Where in the World is Waldo”…our friends at TSS.

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109 Responses to Unspun: map of HPL franchise applicants

  1. Kurt says:

    Excellent! Except you have NorthShore-BBY same colour as SFC…..:) (or close enough to same!)

    I like it. Well done!

  2. Pingback: New Youth HPL league

  3. CCB says:

    One thing that needs to be corrected is that Whalley has 44 % of newton based players in their ranks. Call city of surrey to clarify. Also WSC is 1450 member to SFC 1480 may be the orange needs to shrink a whole lot and green increase

    • Gregor says:

      Thanks, I’ll try to adjust that later tonight. How far south do you think would be a reasonable adjustment?

      • CCB says:

        After the surrey united share surrey has to be divided in 2

      • Gregor says:

        Are you saying Surrey should get 3 HPL franchises? Surrey United plus two more?

        Sorry, misunderstood. Think I got it now and I think the map’s pretty close to accurate now.

  4. Coachrich says:

    Great work on the map 🙂

    I”m curious why everyone is so focused and talking about territory’s when the HPL clubs have no boundaries or catchment areas?

    • Gregor says:

      There are no boundaries and there’s nothing that clubs can do to really coerce their players to go to the HPL franchise they support but the scope of support is interesting (to me anyways).

      Also, some support is ‘soft’ in that it’s just a statement saying ‘good luck we support you running an HPL franchise’ and some is more conditional and negotiated. For instance, I believe Surrey United is open to having Langley staff coaches involved in coaching HPL teams and is talking about a joint academy with them. That’s a much more relevant tie in (again, in my opinion) as it shows a higher degree of cooperation. Those picking the franchises will see more value in relationships that are more binding and tangible.

      • Gregor says:

        I was going to put New West in blue with CMF but I’m unclear on the degree of support Westminster District is throwing at CMF if one of their four member clubs, North Coquitlam, is now saying they’re supporting GE/PM over CMF.

  5. Larry says:

    Looks like a scenario from the board game called Risk with Port Moody and New West so far remaining as neutral territory.
    My bet…full scale war in Surrey for the player pool with SU + ???, CMF annexes Pitt and Port Moody territory (at least in practical terms), New West remains neutral with players going in all directions, solid beachhead for North Shore/BBY, VanRich too much mass, and Abby the eastern kingdom.
    In the near future, south of the Fraser gets balkanized for a 7th lower mainland HPL club.

  6. Colin Elmes says:

    Thought this was about soccer programming not postal codes.


    • Gregor says:

      To some degree you’re right but the powers that be have also made it clear that they want to see the franchises spread across the Lower Mainland and that they want to see partnerships and expressions of support. The map shows both those things.

      Say hi to Carmen SanDiego!

  7. Colin Elmes says:

    a further extension of our elite soccer systemic problems. sad really.

    • Gregor says:

      which is the sad part? wanted distributed franchises or wanting them to show they have support? or both?

      • Coachrich says:

        I think you missed one which is just the status quo moving in to a new league.

        Many of the Districts/Clubs and Adult Leagues have had decades to get HPL/Charter Club ready so to speak but haven’t. Now with the HPL they will hopefully have to or be kicked out for not performing.

  8. Colin Elmes says:

    Selecting HPL entities based on geography before and not quality of presented program. Some of these groups could send there RFP’s in on a napkin and still win a spot in the coveted “8”

  9. Gregor says:

    Hence the need for a fully disclosed review process. I think you’re right and I think some of these franchises will struggle. While you were calling for promotion/relegation I think that a three year review is a better option. It gives clubs that don’t get one this time around or didn’t apply this time but are working towards being HPL-quality something to shoot for and makes the “original six” accountable for the product they put on the field.

  10. Colin Elmes says:

    we shall see what happens when the rubber hits the road. I think the “customers” of the entities will show their colours far in advance of the 3 year review. Finally real accountability. been waiting for this day for over a decade. no more “you live in this community and we are the only gig in town” shambolism. Some will be found out almost immediately. going to have a glass of wine to celebrate.

    • Coachrich says:

      Yep, let the free market system rule and it’s about time too. Now if BCSA could only get rid of Districts and Rule 23.

  11. Gregor says:

    I’ve updated the map with some of the suggestions above. The GE/PM bid, courtesy of Central City Breakers, now shows support down into Newton. Abby’s bid now shows Aldergrove as a supporter and I’ve changed some of the colours to get more contrast.

    Again, I’m not trying to say this is a spot on map of where all the support lies. Just a visual to help see how the regions are covered off by the applicants and who supports who.

  12. Coachrich says:

    Colin has it right on the napkin 😉

    When I go down the list of requirements in the RFP, I know of only CMFSC and Surrey United maybe being the only ones fulfilling those requirements. They are the only complete cradle to grave and both gender clubs around. After that, only a few fulfill the other requirements.

    Franchises are based on politics and geography. So much so, if someone new made a NPO proposal that was going to be member run and had $1M dollars in the bank, there is no way they would get in.

  13. Colin Elmes says:

    just filling out my napkin now

  14. Canadian Spur says:

    Port Moody will CMFSC as will Poco as they nave never reaaly got on with the North Fraser group and wanted to move to Westmoster district. The North Coquitlam support for Pitt Meadows/Golden Ears is really irrelevent as all of their top players aalready go to CMFSC so I can see them adding anything to that bid nor getting any value from that support if Pitt Meadows/Golden Ears get a franchise.

  15. Kurt says:

    Spur is totally correct. These “links” in reality really do mean nothing. What NCU player would go over that bridge and into Maple Ridge when they can walk down the street or train at the same park they always have with CMF or even pop down the Lougheed to North Burnaby? Let alone a kid from Whalley!

    It’s all great and wonderful these clubs all of a suddent gladhand, but the reality is the kids and parents will go where the best coaches are, best costs, most benefit, and most logical for them. You might also see all of a sudden 4-5 buddies decide they don’t want to play for the Rich-Van team and drive out to Surrey United etc etc…

    For me the Pitt/GEU bid has simply reduced its reliability with all these links. CCB and NCU could very well up and link with someone else, and heck CCB is situating itself to join HPL on its own in 3 years given the opportunity – same with Langley and its support of Surrey United. The links mean nothing. With 8 clubs the kids will move around as they see fit.

  16. JC says:

    This HPL is all crazy!

    Every discussion is about who’s with who and what’s with what!

    Anyone talking about players?

    Reading some posts there are too many people talking about ‘territory’. It’s pretty obvious who’s trying to gain market share and who’s trying to develop players.

    I think the committee that evaluates will get it right. They will see that it’s not about what/who you ‘own’ but rather how you plan to develop players to the next level of opportunities.

    Bids that are created out of the ignorance of needing to be ‘bigger’ than the next guy are silly IMO. Why would a player drive an additional 30 mins+ just because the club tells them to?

    The mega bid in North Fraser didn’t make much sense in the beginning, but adding CCFC cemented the notion that those in charge don’t understand what this is all about.

    Irrespective of who gets a franchise in Surrey, the CCFC players are likely going to go to any number of clubs before they end up in Golden Ears.

    Further, it is clear that the CCFC are simply trying to use this as an assault on SFC to get players and a facility. It’s amazing and a shame that the ‘game’ of soccer has come to this!

    Work hard, work together, do what’s best for the players. Good luck to all!

  17. CCB says:

    I think CCB should be taken seriously with now all the breakers parents have a option to bring their son to play in the same club they will be a 3000 club next year and they are setting up to put huge development programs in place and HPL won’t be able to ignore them for long

  18. JC says:

    CCB – that’s fantastic, but it’s not about ignoring anyone?

    A few questions…
    (Q) Where are the top ex SBAA players going to go for HPL?
    (A) Surrey United

    (Q) Where are the top ex Whalley players going to go for HPL?
    (A) Don’t know, but not to the Golden Ears area

    While I think the enthusiasm that CCB is showing is great, there is a lot to learn about developing players. Talking about “huge plans” is different from actually doing something.

    It would be great to see the end product, but only time will tell.

    I also think that your overtures about taking over the world by acquisition are hurting your cause, but that’s just my opinion.

  19. Canadian Spur says:

    CCB should be taken seriously but they are coming late to the party by not submitting an application. If both Surrey United and Pegasus get accepted in the first round I don’t see a 3rd Surrey based franchise being added unless one of the other 2 have problems.

    Kurt is right…all of the club alliances/support doesn’t mean much if they are not actively involved in the franchise. The elimination of Rule 23 for the HPL means the player/parent will determine where a kid plays, not his current club. The best run franchises will attract the best players.

    To turn the argument around, teams will not select players simply because their current club supported the application. They will choose the best player regardless of previous club, so again the club support really is irrelevant.

    • Gregor says:

      Every family is different but I think most will rank the criteria along these lines:
      1. Coaching
      2. Club reputation and supplemental programs/training offered
      3. Cost
      4. Logistics of getting to and from training
      5. Overall competitiveness of team

      With Van/Rmd coming out with a $2500 price tag it will be interesting to see if the other franchises are in the same ball park. I suspect CMF will be lower as they don’t have to pay for turf fields and they previously haven’t paid coaches at the Metro/Selects level so they probably won’t have to pay as much as others who have been paying considerable amounts to coaches to run a shorter season with teams that only train twice a week.

      Once we finish the battle for territory (that we’re in the middle of now), we’ll move on to the battle for players and a large portion of that battle will be about who is coaching and how much it will cost.

      • Larry says:

        I think cost will be a very big issue for many. Not to downplay the importance or value of any potential coaching. But I’ve heard a number of parents; voice a huge concern over $2,500 for their kid to play soccer, even if it is the new top tier. As you mentioned some clubs might be less expensive due to their structure or previous practices and this may lead to some competitive advantages in recruitment.

        The difficulty in this cost justification exercise is the Metro + SYL = potential HPL cost. Many families only have Metro/Select as their reference cost. A smaller percentage have a Metro/Select + academy cost as their reference cost. For many, the aspect of going from $500 to $2,500 will be hard to justify. I know the argument is increased programming and development but it will be a hard sell against the existing academies.

        A typical Metro/Select player may have a $500 fee for the season and pay an additional $2K per year to one of the academies (TSS, RTESSE, and others). For $2K, the player is getting 80+ sessions per year of high level proven soccer development, from proven development coaches. Over the years, the various academies have a proven track record of players getting scholarship opportunities or even pro soccer. Since the academies are not influenced by formal league competition, they are free to focus on the skill side of the game to encourage creativity and intelligence in players; something that is lacking in many a player out there today.

        A couple points of view…

        1) How does the HPL club prove to the customer (since they are paying), that the club will be successful is developing the player to get to the college level or high higher? Most proponents are fledgling marriages of convenience and have a minimal track record at best.

        2) As an alternative point of view, if a parent has to spend $10,000 over 5 years (U13-18) in the hope that their child might get a scholarship, isn’t the better bet to put most of that money into an RESP fund for education for when the time comes.

    • Coachrich says:

      It’s been rumored that some JV’ed HPL clubs have agreements whereby the make up of the board is determined by the number of players coming from a their clubs. What does this have to do about player development? Zippo as it’s all about protecting ones serfdom which is crazy as part of the HPL package is committing the HPL clubs to the Charter Club and LTAD system.

      As JC and many have said the HPL is too much about territory/geography. The HP is showing itself to be about politics and geography based on what is and is not happening.

      It will be very interesting to see how the status quo has changed when we are able to read the new HPL clubs by-laws, minutes and etc. There are still many involved in JV’ed HPL clubs that are districts and clubs that don’t let parents vote at the club level or subsidize programs without the club parents voting.

      • Gregor says:

        Yes, there’s definitely been some talks along those lines among joint venture HPL bids. I don’t think that’s necessarily wrong. These JV’s are going to be new entities and there has to be agreement on the structure of the Board ahead of time. As long as whatever terms they strike are ratified by respective Boards and made public I don’t see a problem there.

        That said, I would still like to see the transparency and open communication that the original committee stuck to follow through to the application process and have all 11 bid applications made available for everyone to peruse. That would be a huge step towards full accountability. Both in the decision making process and thereafter as HPL clubs will all have their feet held to the fire to ensure what they promise on the applications is seen on the fields.

      • Coachrich says:

        Gregor, I got to disagree with you on boards based on the number of players coming from a catchment area. This is like saying that Royal Vancouver YC members from Vancouver get more seats on the board than their members that come from the British Properties. That’s pure rubbish.

        Further the HPL model has nothing to do with territories hence why not let democracy decide things. What I see in a board being put together based on seats per catchment area is protectionism of serfdoms. Let the members decide who can do a good job for the whole club but don’t make it the best person for Van and the best person for Rmd based upon some formula. That’s repeating what has been wrong in the past and demonstrates people still don’t get the concept of member run NPO clubs.

        On the subject of transparency, what some in the Van area are looking forward to is the ceasing of the VYSA $20-25K annual subsidy to the VFC/Metro/Selects. It’s subsidy the parents of the non Metro/Selects clubs should have known about and voted at their club level and not a decision for the District to do as they want. Yes, transparency is really important but it only works if it’s communicated to ALL who it impacts.

        I like many look forward to the HPL forcing some changes on the status quo but out of the block it looks like some things haven’t changed.

      • Gregor says:

        I wasn’t intending to say whether I agreed or not with the actual deal that Van and Rmd struck. I’m just saying when two groups come together and agree to merge to some degree to run something like HPL, there’s going to be a structure that governs it and to determine that structure there’s going to be some negotiations between those groups. In the end, I’m not as concerned with that the agreement is, I just think they need to have a process that they agree upon and the decision needs to be backed by the Boards that the two committees who struck the deal report to.

        I was commenting on the process and you’re commenting on the agreement resulting from the process.

        In the end, they’ll still need to hold AGM’s and those who don’t agree with the proposed structure will have a chance to elect people who see it more their way.

  20. JC says:

    Transparency is definitely important, especially when the nature of sports it’s actually quite simple to evaluate the end product. At the highest level (National/Pro), you win or you don’t.

    For the purposes of a development club you should be able to show that players have moved forward, or they haven’t.

    Frankly, if clubs have been waiting for HPL to start thinking about this, it’s probably a strong sign that the HPL is serving an alternate purpose in someone’s agenda.

    I like the idea of having 8 teams, but I also think it would be good to provide all group a conditional acceptance for say 1 year (season), knowing that it is very likely that the top 8 will become full league members. It scares me a little to think that the best ‘presentation’ may win.

    I for one think that the Pitt Meadows/GEU bid is only strong based on player base (which in my opinion isn’t a required strength beyond say 2,500 players), but what if they can make something positive – what’s wrong with allowing a season to evaluate the bids? It would be different if there were 20 bids, but 10 or 11 seems reasonable.

    It’s the ultimate competition and transparency. The strong, development focussed clubs will survive in the HPL and everyone will see their results.

    I think the HPL is one of the most refreshing ideas for soccer in some time and I would hate to see politics and subjectivity creep into something that has so much potential.

  21. Colin Elmes says:

    The parent paying the fees couldn’t careless if all the geographical areas have been covered. They will migrate towards the program that can offer the best player development vs cost

    • Gregor says:

      We agree there but there are practical considerations when you’re training three times a week and playing once a week. How far is the average HPL level player’s parent prepared to drive? By spreading the franchises out there’s not too many addresses in the Lower Mainland that aren’t more than a 30-40 minute drive from where three HPL franchises will train. Maybe Chilliwack and maybe even those living out by UBC.

      • Larry says:

        The academies being an excellent example. Players are already driving from all over the lower mainland to get to TSS, Roman Tulis or Whitecaps.

  22. Colin Elmes says:

    Thats why I support your request Gregor for full disclosure before the final decision. Get it all up on the table

  23. Kurt says:

    Yes, the Dunbar and Chilliwack kids are really going to be the only ones affected by the geographical location of the HPL clubs. Otherwise, any kid can really get to any HPL club with no more than a 40 minute drive should they have the desire.

    This talk of “JV” (Joint-Venture?) being critical to acceptance is nonsense. This is actually why I see CMF, Surrey United, and Abby as having the strongest bids. They have to change very little about their programs in reality.

    Transparency will be massive. Can all 11 final bids be made public? That’d be excellent. A 1 year review? Clubs will be aligning themselves to join HPL in the future as a 3 year review has been indicated. After the 2012 HPL season a number of clubs will be poised to take any spot that might become available and should the HPL incumbents vote to allow the entry/replacement.

    Victoria will be very tough, especially without working hand-in-hand with Highlanders in my opinion. And I am also glad to read the comments about Pitt/GEU – smoke and mirrors is that one. They are playing a numbers game. Just the fact it goes against North Fraser Selects worries me, but then to join with a Surrey team……totally illogical.

    What people keep forgetting though is that these bids are not just about youth programs. What adult programs for men and WOMEN do these clubs have? I really don’t know re: the women’s side.

    • Coachrich says:

      Agree with your statement on JV’s as there seems to be some rush to corner the geography market by the status quo. Also, on the clubs that are true both gender and cradle to grave. It’s well known that the majority of these JV bids by Districts or Club’s will have to create true both gender and cradle to grave programs.

      Help fill in and edit –

      – Coquitlam Metro-Ford Soccer Club – Metro/Select, Super Y, Men and Womens League, PCSL Reserves both, PCSL Premier Women
      – Abbotsford Soccer Association – Metro/Select, Super Y, Men and Womens League
      – Surrey United Soccer Club – Men and Womens League
      – SurDel Pegasus FC –
      – North Shore / Burnaby – NS District Metro/Selects, Caps Super Y, NSGSC Womens League, NSGSC PCSL Reserves, Bby Girls/Canadian Womens League
      – Vancouver / Richmond – Van District Metro/Select, Van PCSL Reserves both, RGSA 3 Metro, RYSA Selects ALL, RGSA PCSL Reserves, RGSA 2 Women’s League RGSA.
      – South Fraser Soccer Club
      – Sportstown FC – PCSL Women Reserve and Premier. USL Womens Super 20
      – Pitt Meadows Soccer Club / Golden Ears United Soccer Club
      – Lower Island Soccer Association / Upper Island Soccer Association
      – Thompson Okanagan Football Club

      • Kurt says:

        Abby also has PDL and Super 20.

      • Kurt says:

        And a direct link to UFV with Ian Knight, Rob Giesbrecht, and Al Errington. They also have the benefit of Chilliwack’s men’s and women’s u21 PCSL program and their u19 academy programs to match PCSL u21 season. (They are not linked to Chilliwack’s men’s and women’s premier teams – those two teams are separate from ASA and CFC).

      • Kurt says:

        Apparently I should have had coffee first…Abby also has a women’s premier PCSL team. I am not sure about the WMSL having a team in Abby, but there is one in Chilliwack. Aldergrove maybe too? No clue really.

        So Abby has all of the adult programs covered, not to mention a direct link with Bolton Wanderers (two-way partnership for players and coaches). The club is covered and continuing to build on all fronts. I suspect you’ll see a fall u21 team sooner than later. Or at least a Div 1 FVSL team that is meant for u23…? A guess, but not surprised if it did.

  24. Colin Elmes says:

    Washington State and Southern Cal parents/players travel upwards of 2-3 hours to get to their coveted program- 30-40 mins is nothing.

    BCSA wont request full disclosure. it might mess up the geographical footprint that has been created

    • Gregor says:

      I didn’t picture BCSA requesting full disclosure. I pictured them telling all the applicants that they will be posting their entire application on the BCSA website for all to see.

    • Kurt says:

      But the norm in the lower mainland is kids don’t generally drive more than 30-40 for practice. There are always exceptions for kids who will drive/be driven longer.

    • JC says:

      In So-Cal 2-3 hours is about 10kms 🙂

  25. FlyingHorse says:

    SurDel Pegasus – Youth Complete Pipeline Boys and Girls including Metro, Men’s full FVSL Pipeline including U21, FVSL Premier / VMSL Premier x2, Women’s full Pipeling from U21 to MWSL Selects

    • Kurt says:

      Surrey FC is not in FVSL prem, but yes, they have many adult programs, including VMSL prem.

      • FlyingHorse says:

        Kurt, you’re correct. It’s ND that is in Valley Premier.

        I should also add that SFC has 7 Y-League teams and a Super-20 squad this year. ND is part of the Coastal Y-League group.

  26. Colin Elmes says:

    Gregor- posting the RFP’s in their entirety- is that not full disclosure?

    • Gregor says:

      ^@Colin: Yes, we’re talking about the same thing. You’re calling it the RFP but I think you mean the response to the Request for Proposal, which I’m calling their application.

      I’m saying that a condition of submitting the application is that the applicants agree to allow BCSA to post it online at bcsoccer.net

  27. Colin Elmes says:

    and what exactly is the formal definition of cradle to grave?

  28. Colin Elmes says:

    JC- thats funny. they are still in their cars…….

  29. K says:

    Ya, the whole cradle-to-grave thing is interesting isn’t it! Wouldn’t that start at about u6! I hope all the HPL franchises will get together and create u10-u12 teams and play the same HPL calendar, but with maybe extended breaks through August, xmas etc for family time…..etc. u10 ain’t “cradle” but anyway….

    Maybe it is if HPL teams are creating u10-u12 programs they open it up and allow other clubs to compete against them at those ages so you don’t have 9 year olds driving all over the countryside for practices! Frankly, having a 12 year old drive more than 30 minutes is a big ask…my kid wouldn’t be doing that if the nearest HPL club was satisfactory.

    • Larry says:

      Shaping the minds of the young players U8-U12 pays big dividends later. The system needs to spend more time injecting creative thinking and intelligence into players at these age levels.

  30. Colin Elmes says:

    a certain Richmond based PCSL premier womens team folded six games into the schedule last season. Maybe thats what is meant by grave….

  31. Phil Hernandez says:

    As a parent of a developing player and a “customer” of both community and academy-based soccer I thought I would make a few observations.

    Geography – not much of a concern. I live in North Coquitlam and have chosen a Richmond-based academy (that has also trained in Kerrisdale – which is actually a longer drive). It was the product that sold me (and many others based on conversations with co-customers of that academy). I won’t go so far as to say that distance is irrelevant – I wouldn’t want to drive to say Squamish. But distance is certainly secondary even though we spend, between practices, games, and academies upwards of 7 hours on the road each week because its about the product.

    Cost – there are a number of numbers being tossed about with $2500 being one suggested by Gregor for the Van-Rich proposal. Larry thinks that cost will be a “very big issue for many.” I happen to disagree, mildly. For those that have their children playing in Metro with no additional training whatsoever in a club that doesn’t pay their coaches (e.g. New West?) then yes, the jump will be significant – but is that the rule or the exception? Aren’t most Metro/Select programs upwards of $1K (and not the $500 Larry claims)? In addition, the majority of players (and not “a smaller percentage”) do receive extracurricular training. And while the cost of that training can vary from several hundred to several thousand, the cost to most serious-minded, Metro/Select-playing families is up in the $1500 range today. Add in those that also play SYL and you are easily over $2K, which is certainly not far from the cost the HPL committee suggested. In our case, our daughter plays club soccer (U12), attends a club-based academy as well as TSS and will be participating in a spring/summer tournament team program. Throw in kits and our cost for the 2010/2011 season will top out at approximately $2500 for training. Could we stuff it away in an RESP? Sure we could. Thing is, we already have one of those, but even if we didn’t (as most families to be fair), would it be fair to deny our daughter the opportunity to play and learn about the game she loves? I am not going to get into a debate about economics and financial need and priorities – obviously not everyone can afford to fork over the money required (and others elsewhere have mentioned financial assistance). We forego other things in order to provide her a fuller, richer life and are happy to do so. And whose to say that our investment in her development won’t pay for her post-secondary education via a scholarship thereby negating the need for the RESP in the first place? Are we atypical? Not among the families of our duaghter’s peers who are the likely future customers of HPL – because its about the product.

    Product – to us the product is ultimately measured, in the short term. by our daughter’s development. The means by which she achieves that development is equally as important so it is not (for us at least) disingenuous to say that the quality of the training (and, by extension, those that deliver it) is inextricably linked to that goal and can be viewed as the product itself. We believe we have found the best product, which is why we drive 7 hours a week and pay thousands more (aka travel costs) each year for soccer. Is that quality going to be there within the framework of an HPL club? Well that’s the question isn’t it. Because if our daughter earns a position on one of these clubs, we will have to make some hard decisions about extracurricular training. (Indeed, that decision may be made for us.) It seems that the original plan had the clubs including academy-style training as part of the fees – now the FAQ seems to cast some doubt on that supposition. We are happy that we won’t have to make this decision (she’s a 2000) for another year. We hope that some of the “JVs” will have sorted themselves out by then and that information about the “product” will be public knowledge.

    Geography and cost, along with their attendant hand-wringing, are factors but we (along with, I would suggest, most families with kids at her level) are in a position, fortunately, of allowing them to be secondary.


    • Gregor says:

      That is a quality comment. Thanks Phil.

      I think it’s going to be interesting if most people agree with you and really apply a critical lens to the quality of the coaching and make that one of their priorities in choosing (for those that have the luxury of choice at the HPL level) which franchise to go with.

      Here’s the Catch 22 in HPL coaching. Some franchises will pay up to $20K to coach a team. It’s good money to coach a youth soccer team. The problem is that it requires you to commit to one team four times a week for 10 months and for those of us who are TD’s at the club level, it’s not enough money to quit and it’s too much time to do on the side. I’ve just told the clubs that I work for that I won’t be putting my name forward to coach HPL this coming season. I just don’t see how I can make it work with my club commitments.

      Now whether people know me or not or think I’m a good coach or not doesn’t really matter. If coaches like me (pro coach for ten years, full time TD for 6 years, B National, 3 Y League div titles) are not in the mix for coaching positions, where are the 80 coaches going to come from? I know three other ‘name brand’ coaches in the Lower Mainland who are coming to the same realization: they won’t be able to coach HPL even though they may well be asked to. I know one ‘potential’ HPL TD is already sweating this.

    • K says:

      Excellent post, Phil. I would agree with Phil. Certainly 8 teams’ worth of players are trying out for SYL’s 6 teams. The vast majority of those trialists are already forking out close to $2500 if selected to SYL, as Phil noted, for other things such as academy training etc. It is for the player/family that does no extra training that the extra money will be a shock. I’d be interested to know what % of Metro kids only train twice a week and don’t play SYL.

      I would think the HPL coaches will be the guys that already coach Metro and SYL as the time committment would be no different. Those guys are already up at 10 months a year and 3-4 days of soccer a week. Now, a guy like Gregor has other responsibilities so it makes sense that they can’t put in that much time. BUT, Maybe it is, Gregor that another arrangement can be made? Maybe you take a pay-cut with the other portion given to a qualified assistant. You oversee the assistant, direct training and games even when not there? Maybe it is you do 2 practices a week and home games only….things can be worked out if the desire/ability-to-do-so is there.

      • Larry says:

        I think you’re onto something K. It’s the club coaching structure not 80 professional coaches that will make things more viable.

    • Coachrich says:

      Excellent post Phil.

      Looking at District Select/Metro clubs that have no subsidies that include kit and coaching it’s around $1000 – 1200. Probably another couple of hundred can be added to that without a problem.

      NS District program disclose their budgets here –
      Metro – http://nsppp.com/doc/DGMP-Budget.pdf
      Selects – http://www.nsysa.ca/doc/2010-2011+Budget%5B1%5D.pdf

      Any Metro/Selects full package program like the above that is less that the $1000 – 1200 is being subsidize by other programs.

      • Canadian Spur says:

        The CMFSC program is not subsidized by other programs and is certainly les than the NS. They pay around $500 ) not sure if this includes complete kit but even if not it would still be under $750) The difference is that they don’t have paid coaches and Coquitlam provides field time for free to youth sports programs. The CMFSC program has been very succesful and kept cost lowewr than most. I would expect them to continue to offer a quality product at a cost lower than most.

  32. Colin Elmes says:

    Nice post Phil.

  33. m says:

    If the qualified coaches are already tied up as TDs / dont have the time to commit even to a number like $20K (not sure how clubs will be able to pay this) then who is going to coach these teams?? where are they going to find enough coaches to attract the best players??
    im a big supporter of the TSS bid but even they dont have enough coaches to cover 10 teams.
    I see a massive problem beginning to loom here.
    maybe we should have just left the Metro program the way it was and have a qualifying season to see who gets into the top tier and who plays in the second tier then the bottom 2 go down and the top 2 come up with an interlocking district cup.
    Im in support of player development and having a properly run top tier as Im sure I will be a coach in this level of play (if they can pay me the right wage) but the more i think about the over all picutre, this league may come and go faster than the Vancouver Grizzlies.

    • J says:

      certainly the thought of a revolving door of HPL coaches isn’t very confidence inspiring.
      The more “information” that comes out or is at least brought up the more the plot thickens….

      I would have to think that the powers that be with BC soccer as well as the winning HPL bidders will have considered the economics as a major component to the success of the HPL as a whole as well as the success of the individual franchises…..no?

    • Gregor says:

      Van FC charge $1300/season and coaches are paid between $13K and $15K. If they charge $2500, they are almost doubling the revenue per team while only adding approx 1.5 hours more coaching time per week (2 practices/wk + game >> 3 practices/wk + game). So the only increase, beyond paying coaches more, is for another 1.5 hours of turf at $22/hr. For one team getting half a field that’s an additional cost of [43 weeks * $11/hr * 1.5] = $709.50. Divide that between 17 players and it comes to less than $42 per player.

      There’s also slightly higher player fees payable to District/BCSA/CSA but there’s still a lot of money left in there if the fees go up to $2500.

      So Van FC can afford to pay that. Not saying they will but their financial model would support it if you assume that their current financial model works. Then again their current model also provides for a $20K subsidy from all the other Vancouver clubs. Not sure how much longer that will stay in effect. It was a very contentious issue at the first VYSA Presidents mtg this season.

  34. Larry says:

    Phil, we are in total agreement that it is about the product. Our own experience is that of parents of a developing player attending Roman Tulis for 4 years. We’ve spent many a night on the road and hanging out in the rain for a quality product. After all these years, we are even more committed than we were the first year.

    I hope you’re right about the cost not being an issue, but that has not been the general feedback from parents on our team heading towards an HPL future. In the end I believe many will pay the fee if their child makes HPL, because they want them to succeed. However, we may also lose some diamonds in the rough if costs are too high. The cost argument I presented is nothing more than some of the barriers all HPL proponents must overcome to draw in the customer (players) as they “sell” their programs.

    Here is a reference of some Metro/Select fees reflective of ‘09/10 fees, on a CMFSC document. It can be found via a simple Google search. It should be noted that CMFSC increased it’s ‘09/10 Metro/Select fee from $275 to $495 for ‘10/11, while still appearing to remain at the median mark for fees. This is club that has excellent technical and administrative staff, but is still keeping its cost structure down while delivering a great product.

    (** 2009/10 fees per CMFSC)
    Van Selects – $1,350
    NSSP – $1,275
    Abbotsford – $795
    North Shore Girls – $700
    Surrey United $600 (with a tracksuit)
    Richmond Boys – $590
    Langley Girls – $510
    CMFSC – $495
    Pitt Meadows – $480
    Allouette Boys – $450
    Surrey Youth – $425
    Richmond Girls – $400
    Burnaby Select – $350
    Golden Ears – $325
    Burnaby Girls – $235
    Cliff Avenue – $225

  35. J says:

    Larry “I hope you’re right about the cost not being an issue, but that has not been the general feedback from parents on our team heading towards an HPL future.”

    I agree there does seem to be alot of talk / worry over the cost but this surprises me a little bit. These kids on your squad who have HPL aspirations would have been making a step to something bigger and better in the coming season(s) regardless of HPL no? Whitecaps, TSS, SYL plus extra training etc. I have to agree with what Phils saying in that, the kid who has not been doing any of this extracurricular training ( with mum & dad paying ) are not the norm are they? Most have.

    Or is it that these parents with HPL aspirations are just now reaching a level where $ starts to come into play, as it would have regardless of this new league, ie; these parents were going to be seeing SOME new costs this year if indeed their child was going to make “a” next step, even if not HPL. HPL just happens to be the new potential road to go down, with cost.

  36. Phil Hernandez says:

    Two Questions:

    1. While there will be 80 coaching positions, does that necessarily translate into 80 coaches? In other words, scheduling issues aside, is it feasible to have one coach take on more than one team? And what about assistants and managers – do they remain unpaid while their team co-official cashes cheques?

    2. Is it reasonable to suggest that the increase in training from 3 hours to 4.5 hours (as in Gregor’s example) is being done to prevent players from pursuing extra-club training? If that is so, then might there not be a way of resolving or at least lessening the coaching dilemna by contracting one session per week? Could the HPL not get into bed with accredited organizations capable of delivering what Larry calls “high level proven soccer development, from proven development coaches…[who] are free to focus on the skill side of the game to encourage creativity and intelligence in players…”? That would keep existing coaches at existing commitment levels and (perhaps) allow them to take on more than one team at a time, thereby increasing their salaries enticingly. All we need is to find an organization (or perhaps a consortium) that can deliver 80 sessions of soccer each week. 🙂 Well its better than 240. (And no Colin did not put me up to this – he’d probably run kicking and screaming from such a proposal!)

    OK so perhaps that idea is pie in the sky, but if you’ll pardon me extending the metaphor, is there no food for thought there?


  37. Phil Hernandez says:

    Larry, thanks for doing the research I should have done. My admittedly small sample size was restricted to Vancouver and Royal City and I was led to believe that Vancouver’s fees were the more typical. Nevertheless, I think it is fair to assume that serious-minded familes and players will have been paying significant* extra training costs over and above club fees. Perhaps not as many as I think – after all, there have been many comments made about the decline of soccer quality at the Metro/Select level which is perhaps a reflection of a lack of the training I am presuming is in place.


    *[Average of your sample = $575. I checked two of the Y-league teams fees (LISA and CMF) and the average is $1170 – that’s $1,745 without kits and without extra training].

    • Larry says:

      In U13 Gold1 Coastal Girls this season, there are approximately 256 players that will compete for 96 lower mainland HPL positions. By the numbers only 38% will move on to HPL as proposed.

    • Gregor says:

      Coastal is about $1400 for Y League I believe but it’s supposedly coming down a bit this final year. So if you were a Vancouver FC player who also did Y League (and I had several on my team) you were into soccer for $2700.

  38. Colin Elmes says:

    Sportstown FC has the coaches for 10 teams. CE will be doing two as will others. no problemo.

    • Gregor says:

      So in the name of ‘full disclosure’, care to share who the five coaches that TSS have that would coach two HPL teams each?

  39. Tim says:

    There will be only 8 teams. Chart at top shows 8 lower mainland teams. The Island gets 1 as well as 1 up north, time to make a new chart

    • Gregor says:

      The map shows the applicants not the franchises. These are the 9 (Sportstown FC is given a small space at their facility just south of No. 5 Rd and Cambie in Rmd) groups that have submitted an Expression of Interest. In Feb we’ll find out which six get a franchise.

  40. J says:

    think they are referring to proposed / applied for “districts” in the map. In terms of Colins “10 teams”, I believe he’s referring to multiple age groups Tim.

  41. Colin Elmes says:

    Gregor- Coaches will be revealed at the appropriate time. Dont worry, I wont tell anyone that you are in the mix. your secret is safe with me.

  42. DJones says:

    A lot of info provided on this and other local websites about what other clubs are doing, paying and thinking isn’t always accurate and sometimes hit or miss. I can’t speak for other clubs (nor do I want to) but I can speak for the club I’m associated with and what they do and pay being both a parent and a coach of a player in the organization (CMFSC). And since a few things have come up on this forum that are inaccurate, I figured I’d make them a bit more accurate. By no means will it shed light on all things HPL but it may go some way into what we are attempting to do.

    First off, our bid for HPL was accepted and supported by the Westminster District members at the last district meeting. I see Gregor map as a bit inaccurate in the fact that he left Port Moody off the supported area. In those talks, Port Moody supports our bid without hesitation. They are an excellent club and working arrangements with them will be increased. As for North Coquitlam supporting something else, it’s not surprising knowing the history and their relationship with members of the district. It’s too bad but, oh well, what district doesn’t have their internal politics?

    Secondly – cost. I don’t know what the cost will be for HPL but I can tell you the cost of what we’ve paid for the past season and what we got for it. Yes, our cost for select/metro went up to about $500 this year (it does cover kit but not tracksuits) but we also brought in a new technical director (Dale Mitchell) to work specifically with our Select/Metro/Y League teams. It also went to another 1.5 hrs of training for players on the Wednesday nights for 4v4 bringing our total to 4.5 hours a week. Some coaches also run extra training for their teams on other nights. Our Select/Metro coaches are not paid and do it for the cause… or at least I do. Y League cost do cover kit, tracksuits and travel. Coaches are paid but not as much as other Y Leagues clubs. Extra training is not charged.

    Thirdly, as far as the number of coaches, we feel we have a top notch group that work very close together and converse regularly on players development and improving training or game situations. It may sound like a closed group but you’d be wrong. There is pressure on coaches to teach the club philosophy and meet club goals as more and more coaches are developed through the club, successful players coming back to the club to put back in and outside coaches apply for these positions regularly. With paid positions coming into play, on-field success may not save a coaches job.

    I would assume that other clubs like Surrey United etc… would be the same.

    Speaking for myself, my support for the league is the fact that it will make the standard higher, riddance of the out of district rule that puts us on a level playing field with other provinces/states, and mandatorily increasing the training time – especially for older players who tend to train less when their counterparts overseas are increasing their training time, and . I do have reservations in the quality of some of the bids as well as the inclusion of the younger age groups.

    My feeling is to leave the younger age groups to play select and metro in the winter and Y League in the summer. It will allow clubs and coaches a longer view to evaluate theirs and other talents before they make this step up. The value of the Y League, especially for the late born players is tremendous and the positives won’t be seen for many years and won’t be appreciated until we see a lack of late-borns/late developers playing at the higher levels. If we want to see an increase and depth of talented players, the late-borns who find themselves out of the ‘inner circles’ is the way to do it. Institutions like TSS and Roman Tulis are oasis for these types of players and I hope we don’t see an end to these types of programs.

    • Coachrich says:

      Hats off to CMFSC on having coaches not being paid. That says a lot about the clubs culture and enjoyment of the programs that all leads to grow, success and retention in a club.

      Also, says a great deal on the quality of the development programs and the importance of instilling mentor-ship in a club. All this leads to members re-investing in the club and making family members into club members from generation to generation.

      Bottom-line of all this is a sports club culture that breeds success due to the members, admin and staff’s willingness to cooperate to provide services for all the club members.

    • Gregor says:

      First of all, while many will know DJones (don’t like putting any real names on here unless people have identified themselves by that already), for those that don’t, I can safely say that few are as well informed on these matters as he is.

      I’ve added Pt. Moody to the CMF sphere of influence. As I said in an earlier comment, given that NCU had come out in support of GE/PM, I wasn’t really sure if the District’s vote of support was carrying much weight with the actual clubs they represent but if DJ says Pt. Moody support them, that’s good enough to adjust the map.

      No club, probably in Canada, is going to be able to match what CMF give their Metro teams. For $500 you get generally very good coaching twice a week and then you get Stitch for a third session. That is value that is really unheard of at this level in this day and age.

      As for clearing up inaccuracies posted here though, really the only one is the map. The $500 price tag is accurate and the third point is really a correction but additional info on how CMF coaches co-operate and generally fear for their job 😉

      I was also a bit surprised at how quickly the powers that be decided that independent clubs like Coastal and Mountain would have to shutter operations as Y League would be rolled up. Not sure who made that decision and if they really had the authority to but it would be a tough proposition to continue in the face of HPL. DJ’s idea of Y League for younger players and keeping HPL for older players is interesting but USL lean heavily on franchises to operate teams at all levels. Especially the Northwest Division where there’s no one waiting in the wings to fill in spaces.

      • Kurt says:

        While a “younger ages” SYL won’t be created. I’d be shocked if very quickly each HPL club didn’t have a u10 AT LEAST, if not younger. Clubs like Surrey United, Abby, Surrey FC, CMF etc all having those ages run during the HPL calendar would be quite simple with the existing club structure in place already.

        PS- GY, you had your internet company ask why you are using so much bandwidth yet!? Lots of chatter here.

  43. Colin Elmes says:

    Dan- not to worry. Not going anywhere just yet.

  44. Colin Elmes says:

    A story:

    and I paraphrase as my memory is fading.

    Early 1990’s- National Soccer Coaches Association of America Convention.

    Packed ballroom full of ODP, University, and National Team Coaches- basically all the elite coaches in the country.

    Opening speaker Bora Milatinovic( who has taken several countries to World Cups)

    First words out of his mouth in Serbian styled broken English


    Stunned silence and gasps……
    followed by anger……
    and then realisation(for the smart ones by the end of the convention after multiple nights over pints)

    that he was right.

    Americans then set off on a process to hire(with the $ and the will) sophisticated people from abroad as TD’s, Head coaches, staff, program coordinators to properly set up and run most of their elite clubs. Now, there is a legacy of American coaches who apprenticed in these environments that are now running the show all across the US.

    We are 20 years behind them and accelerating.

    This is the current state of our coaching world here in BC. And that includes everyone- even you Metro Ford 😉

    Until we accept the fact that we really know very little about developing elite level players and teams and we set off to unlearn and re learn the appropriate ways we will continue to spin our wheels , HPL or no HPL.

  45. K says:

    Colin is exactly correct. Too many folks around here (including Washington) have lost their humility. If they ever had any…

  46. Coachrich says:

    Development is only one aspect of the structure which in Canada’s amateur model right to the CSA is governed by volunteers or professional volunteers as some may call them. Hence our soccer is governed by volunteers who may not have played or admin’ed in the sport or maybe even other sports. Canada is still in a time warp and not going anywhere at warp speed either. The HPL is a great concept but question is whether the status quo gets in the way due to HPL clubs being extensions of Districts or Clubs. Hence what has really changed other than a new league that everyone moves on up to.

    The US on the other hand had a national plan as they got tired of being beat and being average. So they made a plan around their WC hosting. That plan involved everyone working together on how the USSF governs by making changes…….councils instead of state reps on the USSF BOD. These USSF changes impacted changes on all the structure below it. That opened the doors for the money to flow from the WC profits that were put into the US Soccer Foundation (nothing to do with the USSF) to the soccer community. They brought in professional sports people from everywhere for every level to run soccer as a business and they certainity have reaped the success.

    The US went from a broken volunteer governed structure to one that now has 4 national youth pathways in their structure. Hey, they even have a national pathway for all the academies. They now have successful NT programs that start at U14 and give each gender 7 programs. They raise enough money for their WNT to have a budget of $10M. All their NT Senior players are under a CBA for their gender. Their WNT Senior players were paid $75k+ in their Olympic year. Their WNT players got $18K for their CONCACAF cycle which was 3 weeks………Canada won and got a $250K purse that CSA kept and so far zip to the CWNT. Yet, the USSF with all these programs and huge budget numbers they only charge annual fees of $1-2 per player. Yep, change needs to take place in Canadian soccer at all levels as we “continue to spin our wheels , HPL or no HPL”

  47. Colin Elmes says:

    I guess we are all in stunned silence stage still. Where is the anger people? Tell me I am wrong!

    Or wait till Gregor starts another HPL thread(which he has) and just move on from the awkward moment.

    • Phil Hernandez says:

      You are not wrong. And there is plenty of discontent out there among the rank and file – I know because I am one of them. But since you just delivered the message many haven’t had time to drown their sorrows in their beer.

      Let me preface my remaining remarks by stating that as far as my daughter is concerned, the path couldn’t be any better for her at this moment: trains at TSS and the Prospects and plays select level soccer. All three programs have exceptional, truly outstanding coaches. We thank our lucky stars for having found these programs and we honestly don’t think her current development pathway could be improved.

      In Canada.

      That is not in any way a criticism of her coaches. But even with all of the opportunities we have been able to afford and provide, I would be lying if I said I believed this is as good as it gets. In my gut, I know that football excellence is a long way off in the distance for this country but the emotion I experience most of all is not stunned silence or rage but frustration. And right about here is where I shift gears from the satisfaction of focusing on my daighter (an individual) to the frustration of trying to see the big picture (Canada’s soccer vision). I know there is one, people say there is, articles refer to it, so it must be out there right? Why can’t I ever seem to find it then? Oh I’ve gone to most of the websites (BCSA, CSA, other provincial SAs, individual clubs, professional clubs, academies, districts, leagues, wikipedia), blogs (here, e.g.), forums (TTP – which seems to have gone AWOL btw), and read everything I can but with all that, the vision doesn’t seem to want to crystalize for me.
      Rant #1: There are a bunch of ridiculously bad websites out there. I don’t care that its not PC to criticize volunteers but I don’t give a s**t – clean up your webpages people! You want us to get the information – then try designing sites with the majority of the people that view your sites in mind. Parents & players and not soccer officialdom.

      And its not just the layout – its the content also. I know now that unless you spend literally hours on the phone and on the net talking, reading, and communicating with other soccer afficionados, you are never going to get from cursory glances at a website the information you must have to plan the development of a young soccer player much less a national or provincial team program. Rule 1 in building a new culture – get the word out. Which leads me to my second emotion – fear. Fear that we do not have the horses to pull off creating this new culture that I’ll call the professionalization of soccer. Fear that we will never realize that we “have no idea”. Here’s a view into my world: I want to see the standings of my daughters team. A simple parent-centric wish. Perhaps not very development-minded – sue me. I look. Its not up to date. Out by 5 weeks. What do I have to do to address this? Go through four(!) levels of bureaucracy just to ask a question. Luckily, I am the manager of my team else it would be five. FIVE . How can we expect to get to professional coaches and sponsorships and ODPs and whatnot when we can’t even get a simple thing like “4 wins, 1 loss, and 1 tie” right. Petty? Perhaps – but as real and meaningful to the vast majority of the soccer community as HPL franchise allocations are to this blog.

      Frustration and fear. Probably make good bedfellows.

      What we need is strength. The strength to make our real frustrations and motivations known. Here is a reality – most parents with the means to do so will place little Kyla in an academy for reasons that have little to do with development and a lot to do with ‘keeping up with the Joneses’. “Little Susie is not going to get passed over for that spot on the team because of that little b**** Alicia.” Its the same with choosing the academy – what sounds better on Monday mornings: ‘My daughter was just invited to train with the Whitecaps Youth Development program’ vs. ‘She has been invited to train with Mihail’s Mighty Mites soccer program’. Am I one of those people – there’s a part of me that is I’ll admit. We need to show strength: both parents who choose and coaches who recommend. If that means telling Johhny or Kyla that Silver 2 is where they should be then do it.

      We need to have the strength to question our soccer administrators and make them accountable – all the blog posts in the world aren’t going to effect change although it will at least start the discussion.

      And finally, we need to have the collective strength to lead ourselves out of this mess (fear again). I don’t know this to be true, but I sense that people like Colin figured all of this out a long time ago, saw the writing on the wall, and decided to do what they could with what they had to make a meaningful impact on the development front. I tip my hat to him and those that came before and since as having the courage to make a difference (without worrying about whether it was too anti-canadian to try and make an honest buck at the same time). I wonder if there are some out there that would lead the charge. I try to do my part – I volunteer and not just as a team manager. I am also trying to drum up sponsorships for my club. Its not nearly enough and I have a very healthy admiration for the myriad volunteers that keep the game from flying apart at the seams in this country.

      Then again maybe that’s what’s needed.


    • Gregor says:

      We still don’t have the critical mass of interest/money to ensure this sport makes the cultural leap from being the fun, recreational pursuit to the intense commitment needed to develop top players. We’re fighting hockey, the weather to some degree and perception that soccer is the sport you put your kid in to get away from the brutalities of ‘competitive sport’.

      Soccer can and should be both. But we’re still not at the stage where that leap is imminent.

  48. JoeR says:

    Abbotsford has made a big move today to make sure they are the club of the valley in the HPL with the major sponsership from Magnuson Ford which will see the club re-branded Magnuson Ford Mariners FC. I think this is going to become the norm going forward for clubs in the HPL. It will help to differ some of the costs for the clubs and allows more to be brought to the players. I guess if the CSA can’t help with funding maybe the time is to look to more partnerships with the business community. This is the first of the HPL teams to announce a partnership with business (CMF not counting as their relationship has been around for a while) ….will it be the last? How does this affect their HPL bid?

    • Gregor says:

      It would be very interesting to know the dollar amount involved. I’m guessing it’s a similar deal to CMF’s : they get a car and Abby will raffle it off and hope to make $40-$50K off it. Then it’s a matter of where that money gets earmarked? General revenue? HPL? Professional coaching on a club wide basis? Kit?

  49. Kurt says:

    Have to believe such an arrangement/sponsorship deal started long before or at the infancy of HPL planning. This didn’t just come off in the last two weeks! (I assume).

    Magnuson Ford is the “sister” dealership of Metro-Ford! It’s great, and pray it lowers the costs directly to the players! Anyway….another HPL thread was started….

    • Kurt says:

      Also, did I miss something?

      “But since you just delivered the message many haven’t had time to drown their sorrows in their beer.”

  50. Phil Hernandez says:

    Its a reference to Colin’s anecdote. He says that those that got past the stunned silence and then rage finally came to”the realization after multiple nights over pints”


  51. Colin Elmes says:

    Kurt, you never miss anything. Read above the Magnuson Ford celebration. Gregor lines up responses with original posts- smart guy- so sometimes when you go on here and there are new additions, they are up the ladder a bit. With TTP down(?) you should have some extra time here…. PS you and I chatted about the content of my post a week or so back . If I recall, you agreed with me.

    Thanks again Phil for your view through another (unfiltered) lens. Good for you

  52. K says:

    Ya, they way the messages roll it’s a headache searching through to see what is new! If I agreed with you then, CE, I am sure I do now! I posted the M-F Mariners info on the new HPL thread before reading this “old” thread and seeing that it was here too.

    Ya, I wonder what happened to TTP? Didn’t pay the bill probably. 😉
    Anyway, a couple of days until formal applications are due, and I suspect the other Franchises will be posting interesting links and plans in the days to come.

  53. Phil Hernandez says:

    TTP’s been back up since this morning

  54. K says:

    TTP didn’t work just now when I attempted to open it.

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