Sportstown FC’s full HPL application

Perhaps naively, I assumed that most of those pursuing HPL franchises would want to promote their bid by publicizing their application and highlighting its strengths. It’s a very tight timeline and when the winning applicants are announced they will have very little time to win over players and build strong, competitive teams. I also, even more naively, thought that even if some applicants didn’t want to broadcast their applications that BCSA would publish them on their website regardless in the name of transparency.

Instead, in response to that question, posed by one of the applicants, over whether applications would be published or not, BCSA took the opposite tact and assured applicants that their submissions would, literally, be kept under lock and key and the strictest confidentiality would apply.

Why?

Why is it felt that people who are soon going to be asked to commit to a whole new season at some of the highest fees imposed on youth soccer players ever in this province should not have access to crucial information that would help them decide which HPL franchise is best for their son or daughter? HPL is supposed to be a break from the past  years of protectionism and lack of accountability. But by keeping these applications confidential, BCSA is forcing the consumers of this league to feel their way through the process in darkness. It makes no sense.

So then Colin Elmes* calls me earlier this evening and says, “We’re going full disclosure. Will you put it up on your site and facilitate a discussion so that people can ask any question they want of our application and we will answer it.”

I was pleased and the only condition I had, one that Colin immediately responded to positively, was that I would encourage other applicants to do the same and offer them the same (small) platform to interact with people who have questions about their application.

So here it is. The Sportstown FC HPL bid. I hope it’s the first of many applications we get the chance to evaluate and provide feedback on either here or on other sites (I will of course link to whatever site any of the other entities choose to publish their application on if they prefer not to put it here).

Sportstown FC’s HPL Application Package

Home highlights from Sportstown FC’s application:

  • Colin, Rob Dattilo, Brendan Quarry and Steve Weston will each coach two teams
  • Cost would be $1800
  • Fairly complete curriculum outline

If any other group would like to follow Colin’s lead and provide full disclosure of their bid details so parents are able to make the most informed decision possible in the very short time they’ll have between franchises being awarded and teams being formed, please contact me and I’ll get it up.

For now, you can download the PDF of the Sportstown FC application and Colin has pledged to be responsive to any questions left here in the comments section.

* Full disclosure: I’ve known Colin for 27 years and I worked for TSS for about three years starting around late 1999.

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106 Responses to Sportstown FC’s full HPL application

  1. GDad says:

    Well done, Colin and Gregor! Thank you for your initiatives and the volunteering of your forum. BCSA needs to spend the… umm… 10 minutes it takes to put up a Blog and make discourse easier. I think WordPress is free, btw and so is Facebook. I think this goes to Colin’s other/earlier posts about improving communication channels.

    I can’t imagine why any organization would want to hide their application. Coaches deserve to get paid, there are operational costs, kits costs, administrative costs. Let’s find out who the coaches are, what the plans are, and where parents and players can get their best bang per buck.

    I watch eagerly.

  2. curious spectator says:

    Interesting approach – posting the full bid.

    I am curious about what others will do, although I think it’s somewhat irrelevant, in that the ultimate transparency will be reflected in the deliverables.

    I suspect there will have been some very create wordsmithing in all of the bids that paint a ‘perfect’ picture of what is to come.

    For me, I would evaluate bids based on predictability (past performance) and the future forecast (plan to build off past performance). The only club/bid that clearly meets this to me is CMF.

    Bids that have complete speculation (new partnerships, minimal history of meeting a decent standard of player, coach, referee, and game development, etc…) are risky for the HPL initiative (which is a great thing for the game).

    This post is not a reflection on the TSS bid. I believe that the TSS bid will ultimately come up a little short, but I think that Colin will, as always, force people to answer some very uncomfortable questions; questions that need to be answered.

    Let the games begin!!

  3. JoeR says:

    First I have to say well done Colin for having the, shall I say Balls to post this. I think it takes guts to buck the trend and move the conversation on the HPL bids into the open. After reading through the bid it is quite detailed and focused on exactly what the HPL criteria was looking for. I think it will actually be a lot more substantial than some of the bids that come in, which is why it would be so good to see the rest of the bids. I am unclear how all these different clubs (that have come together so quickly out of convience rather than being a natural match) with different philosophies are going to be able to come together with a clearly stated direction like yours has.

    If I have to point to one thing in your bid that I see as a challenge it would be the number of teams some of the coaches would be looking after. Having been an Asst coach to a coach who was taking on 2 teams at different age groups, I witnessed how hard it is to spread oneself evenly accross mulitiple teams. What happened was one team ended up suffering. And while I know the quality of the coaches you have listed, and that fact that my daughter has had each of you at one time or another, as a parent I would be hesitant to want her on a team where the coach is responsible for a second or third team unless I knew the Assts were very strong. My daughter and I went through the bid together and that was her one comment before I told her my opinion.

    Having said that, the respect you have shown the soccer community (namely the players and parents) by posting this I think shows why we need the rest of the clubs to follow suit. If we as parents and players do not get a chance to see in detail the process how are we going to in the end make an educated decsion on where the best fit for us is. I want to wish you luck in the bid process, and although I think the chance of Sportstown getting a franchise is slim (due more to the politics rather than the quailty of the bid) , I think you are going to force the powers that be to be a little more accountable to the end consumer, the players and their families and for this we in our family thank you.

  4. Mitch says:

    See….this is exactly what I was talking about….absolute full disclosure!!! My question is back to you ‘K’…is Abbotsford going to publish their bid including their coaching staff and philosophies? And if not will you be handing a copy out to the parents at your meeting this Friday night? (which I’ll be attending and be asking some questions). To all other TDs, on this blog, who had an hand in their bid proposals…will you also make these bids available to the parents? If we (the parents) are going to be spending between $1800-2500+ then we as parents have a right to see all the bids and we also deserve to know why a franchise was awarded.

  5. K says:

    Thanks, Colin! No tongue-in-cheekness here, the package is beautiful! The bid says “Exploring” regarding the boys side…I hope you are successful regardless of your acceptance or not into HPL.

    Mitch – re: your ASA disclosing the bid….couldn’t tell ya! Never asked. You could email Brad Nicholl or Ian Knight directly? I urge you to ask your questions/comments at the forum – excellent you are attending.

    Maybe it’s worth emailing the other bidders if they are also holding public forums?

  6. Joe says:

    Good Job Sportstown !
    Full disclosure should be a no brainier,
    Don’t get me wrong I like the idea HPL . It’s just poorly planned .

    In many age groups the metro team not with a HPL franchise will out number the metro teams with franchise 5to4 it’s very likely elite soccer will be split between Metro and HPL.

  7. Colin Elmes says:

    Hi all,

    Everyone stop emailing me. No we wont have 12 players on the field. typo! sorry, been staring at this document for 4 days. It was missed! It will be fixed here shortly.

    Coaching two teams: It is a reality with the limited resources which goes across the entire community essentially. Westcoast FC in Southern Cal, whom we play with TSS on our yearly sojourn to California has staff that take on 3-4 teams because their resources are stretched as well. And these guys are light years ahead of us.

    I have run two teams for many years through our Academy program. its not a problem for me( 3 is a stretch) and yes there will be many of our staff attached as assistants to these teams.

    Curious Spectator- have you seen the CMF bid? If not, what compass are you using here to evaluate?

  8. m says:

    2 teams is not a stretch for 1 coach at TSS and even if there is a conflict then how hard will it be for one of the other top class coaches they have to step in anyway!
    All the coaches work closely together and have the same vision so for someone to step in to cover will not be an issue.
    Im impressed with the proposal but always knew colin would be the first to come out with something like this.
    I hear a lot of people make comments that colin needs to stop pushing the envelop and stop with all the comments towards the game in this province and how it is run but i for one, who is also outspoken, know that in 30 yrs we will look back and remember these times and colin will be a contributing factor in it all.
    My take is TSS wont get a bid based on politics and that is a real shame. I am almost ready to say, give all the bids a chance and let the people make the choices.
    Like most have said, some have no history and are keeping thier plans a secret and thats BS. Put the goods on the table and let the parents / kids decide where, who etc they want to play for.
    there is only 1 reason i dont want TSS to get a franchise and thats because I will end up coaching against them and they will be a tough group to beat… its that simple so in all reality they should get one as they will produce some of the best teams, offer some of the best coaching and quite frankly the list goes on and on with nothing negative being listed… isnt that what a true franchise should be all about? I dont even think CMF will be a better bid to tell you the truth and Abby… please tell me why they deserve one as they cant produce metro and super y teams that can compete. Mountian (burnaby / NV) yes they could be a great bid. Surrey United… yes again but these two can draw players but still none of these can say they will offer what TSS will and if im wrong then come on here and prove me and everyone wrong.
    Good luck colin… i hope politics dont get in the way.

  9. GDad says:

    TSS has been extremely formative in the development of our son’s soccer skills – our club could not provide it and our son wanted it. Now that our son has almost completed his run in Youth Soccer, I can say very strongly and without a doubt that he would not be playing Selects without the contribution of TSS. TSS was also a key contributor in the first few years of Super-Y and made our first year at Coastal FC a phenomenal experience. I would guess that this is also true for hundreds if not thousands of boys and girls over the past 10 years. At TSS it was always about the coaches and players and then teams – the organization was the structure that supported those goals.To not have TSS be a key player in HPL given its DEMONSTRATED contribution to soccer in BC would be very disappointing.

  10. Coachrich says:

    Impressive bid by TSS. Thankfully someone has thrown down the gauntlet to the other HPL bids and BCSA.

    Well done by both Gregor and Colin for pushing for transparency as it’s needed otherwise it’s the same garbage from the status quo soccer community.

  11. curious spectator says:

    I have not seen the CMF bid – in fact I am not even part of that club.

    My point was simply to state an opinion that they seem to have (based on my comments about past/future) the strongest position. I won’t get into additional details as I am not advocating for them or anyone else for that matter.

    • Gregor says:

      Any idea when this put out (there’s no date on it)? Very significant that ASA is now essentially farming out the girls side of HPL to Langley FC. That helps Langley FC keep their girls from joining LUYSA as well. Besides that though, it’s really just a re-hash of things we already knew about Abby (Bolton, travel, support of Chilliwack and Aldergrove).

  12. K says:

    I asked. This was confirmed on the 31st. Yes, you are dead-on, it is basically LFC ensuring their program thrives and the girls don’t go to LUYSA. But what it also does is, should ASA be in HPL, allows girls from White Rock, Surrey, Delta (potentially), Langley, Maple Ridge (potentially) greater access to the HPL should their home-community not get in.

  13. Mitch says:

    Here’s a quick thought…what is stopping BCSA from kicking back the rest of the bid proposals after seeing Sportstown’s and asking the clubs to re-write their proposals to a higher standard. We’ll never know since none of the other bids were posted. How about that for a conspiracy theory 😛

    • Canadian Spur says:

      Mitch, Your comments assumes that the other bids were not written with a similiar high standard. Unless you have seen them, it really isn’t helpful to paint them with a negative comment. The TSS bid is well presented but I do have questions. Does TSS have facilities for game day hosting? How will they work with tier 2 players/teams to continue the development of those players that just miss the cut at HPL but may potentially develop into top players? Don’t get me wrong. I’m not anti TSS, my daugther has trained there and loved it, and I applaud Colin for his full disclosure but lets not assume that all the other bids fall short. That said, It would be great to be able to compare the bids and to know who is on the selection committee.

  14. Banjo-man says:

    What many of you are missing is one key point….in the business world, RFP submissions are generally not made public. On large construction projects, the submissions from all bidders is not made public and usually confidentiality is a generally accepted principle in a bid process. Those of you saying the franchise applications should all be made public for transparency so parents/players can see are one step ahead in the process. This current step is to apply for and receive a spot from the HPL committee, not to advertise the bid contents and win in the court of public opinion. When applying for a job, does an applicant ask for the other 3 or 4 shortlisted candidates to post their CV’s online for comparison?
    Once the 8 HPL spots are evaluated/awarded through due diligence of the committee and independant evaluators, the 8 awarded franchises will all publicize their program, costs, coaches, and tryout information, which will make them very public and is the step where parents/players can evaluate the best program for them.
    As for the TSS bid, while I too have been frustrated reading Colin’s rants over the years and throwing rocks at the system it is good to see TSS now trying to get “under the umbrella” for the better of the BC game overall.
    Obviously Colin feels by meeting all the franchise requirements and using a public outlet to prove it, he will have a rock in his backpack to throw when/if he doesn’t get the spot.

    • Coachrich says:

      Huge difference is that these are member fee based clubs that are non-profits. Hence the potential members have a right to know how their club is run, run by whom, who’s coaching and etc. Members are paying the fees not companies paying the members a salary. Further some members will want to know if their fee will give them a void as RGSA in Rmd is still one of the few clubs that don’t let the parents of kids vote…….only coaches vote.

      Families need to know now too, as they need to plan for the future to be able to spend their money and time effectively. There should be no need to wait as what is in the bid is what is going to be and should be on a selected clubs web site. Hence no need to hide anything especially when these are not business or real sport franchises……the owners are the members.

  15. SocMommy says:

    Well done Colin and team at Sportstown, very professional and thorough bid. This should give BCSA pause. Given the professionalism and the fact that you do meet the criteria by having a balanced budget with no income, it would appear that you are not for profit, and therefore should get a franchise. Aside from the fact that by the sheer way HPL is being formed, everyone is actually entering the realm of “for profit entities”, hope they have budgeted for work that is involved in that!

    I sincerely hope you get a franchise, and my daughter would be first in line for try-outs when you do! 😉

  16. SocMommy says:

    Banjoman if it was all to be secret, you normally would not post who had applied to be part of the RFP process, except when you are involving the stakeholders.

    By posting this info, it is apparent that we the stakeholders, are meant to be involved, and therefore should have access to the RFP information. Further to this, if RFP infomation were always secret, the media would have nothing to do nor would we hear about how contracts were awarded to companies affiliated to politicians, etc.

  17. Colin Elmes says:

    Banjo-man, you are correct that RFPs in the business world are not made public. However, let’s be honest, this process is not an “RFP” in the true business-sense of the term. This is a different animal. This is about soccer clubs putting forth their programs to BC Soccer in order to select the best candidates to run elite soccer in this province. It’s important to remember that BC Soccer is not a private business. They are the representative body for all registered soccer players in this province. In other words, they are working on behalf of all the soccer players/parents. Therefore it stands to reason that this information should be shared with the very members they are serving.

    • Phil Hernandez says:

      Also, Banjoman, in the business world, once a proponent’s proposal is scrutinized and selected as the winning bid, the other proposals are not published. So your analogy about asking to see the other applicant’s CVs prior to teh interview falls a bit short – you don’t get to see them later either. Yes the 8 successful franchisees will publish program information but the unsuccessful proponents wont. Besides which this stage is not just about holding the proponents to a particular standard, its also about holding BCSA accountable in terms of their selection process – perhaps even more so. Whether or not the rules say you must or mustn’t publish bids, it cannot be disputed that the membership would benefit from such a move on the part of either BCSA or the proponents – I mean, what are they trying to hide?

    • Canadian Spur says:

      I agree BCSA must be held accountable for their selections. We don’t even know who the 3 person selection committee is comprised of (unless I missed something). Without some sense of how the bids will be adjudicated how can the members have the confidence that the BCSA is truly serving their best interest? They may well be but will we truly know?

      • Gregor says:

        The committee is:

        Paul Barber (CEO, Vancouver Whitecaps)
        Sean Fleming, CSA Staff Coach in charge of NTC Prairies
        Third person who either has not been picked or simply hasn’t been named yet.

    • Gregor says:

      Also, as Colin mentioned to me yesterday, a lot of RFP processes state that upon submission the application becomes the property of the body soliciting proposals. This prevents the entities submitting from publicizing their proposal in any way. That was not a stipulation of the HPL application process.

      Bid applicants are totally free to publish their applications if they want to.

  18. Colin Elmes says:

    Canadian spur- yes we will have game day venues in place.

    Second tier players- outside of the “Super Club” bids(CMF, Abby, Surrey U) the other Hpl bids are comprised of newly formed “clubs” who in theory do not have second tier environments.

    Our coaching staff( like what all elite soccer coaches are supposed to do!) will go out and watch applicable age groups in the second tier and assess and recruit players of standard from within these leagues. These players could then be invited into a “combine” or camp for futher identification and development.

    • Canadian Spur says:

      Hopefully the “Superclubs” you mention will work with players from other local clubs and not simply look within to their own tier 2 programs. I suspect that was what was intended by regional partnerships, not the willy nilly throwing together of clubs/regions to cover the geography.

      For me what happens at the teir 2 level is critical to the ongoing health of the local clubs. I have no problem with the top level HPL being an exclusive league with minimum standards that are (hopefully) enforced, but to the have the second tier be also exclusive (like the current Select league) makes no sense to me. The smaller local clubs are still needed and shouldn’t be excluded from tier 2 by the districts or the Select league as these entities truly do not have any meaningful accountability to the players/parents.

      • K says:

        You have it correct Canadian Spur re: the attention needed to be given to the second tier.

        Colin would promote and scout too, I imagine. My only questions around the SportstownFC bid are involving the adult programs. They have summer women’s programs but question-marks re: the male ones. The application states they are seeking to remedy this, but to me that is no different than any other application that has question marks in various areas – ie, the other applicants will also state “we will remedy this if…” etc etc.

        All in all, I really enjoyed reading the Sportstown FC bid and hope they are involved in HPL even if not given a franchise – host a combine, external player evaluations, host college showcase etc etc….I don’t know. I like what the application had to say. I just don’t think it will beat out the regional rivals of Rich-VanFC, South Fraser, or Surrey Pegasus.

      • Phil Hernandez says:

        On what basis, K?

  19. Julie says:

    There are so many comments here this question might have been asked already. I thought I read somewhere that Academies won’t be eligible for an HPL franchise.

    • Gregor says:

      Yes, that was stated in a BCSA FAQ document. I’m sure Colin’s response would be that while TSS is an academy, Sportstown FC is simply another youth soccer club that like many other youth soccer clubs contracts out technical support. In this case, the contract it out to TSS.

    • Canadian Spur says:

      BCSA in their FAQ’s did state that Academies would not be eligible but Colin’s application is in the name of Sportstown FC, not TSS. TSS is listed as the service provider for STFC. Not sure that the committee will accept that this is not a thinly veiled academy bid but only time will tell.

      Good Luck Colin

  20. Gregor says:

    I’d say on the basis, and I think Phil knows this but would just like it acknowledged, that Sportstown is competing with the Vancouver FC – Richmond bid. So just as GE/PM is competing with Abby and Surdel Pegasus is competing with South Fraser for the simple reason that spreading the franchises geographically was mentioned as a consideration and it has become, at least here, a de facto top priority along with ‘cradle to grave’, Sportstown is really seen as having to displace Van/Rmd.

    But are we overstating the importance of regional representation and even if we’re not, is Sportstown just as capable of representing the Vancouver/Richmond region just as effectively as the Van FC/Rmd bid? Hard to say. Unless someone published their bid to compare it to Colin’s.

    • K says:

      Yes, Gregor, that is what I meant. Thank you. I do hope Sportstown is involved somehow though.

    • Phil Hernandez says:

      From a practical point of view, BCSA may indeed consider the geographical dispersion of HPL clubs in its selection process. But that is different than saying it must do so. We posters assume it (BCSA) will not only because of an implicit belief that such an arrangement would serve the interests of the community insofar as access to programs is concerned but also because the HPL Committee indicated that “entries would be…ideally spread out geographically throughout the region.” I would argue that such considerations are a distant second to more important criteria such as development strategy, coaching/training quality, and technical programming and execution. Second tier organization is also more important. Hell, even cost might be a bigger factor in many parent’s eyes. So while I did want it acknowledged, it was so I could then take a shot at it because I believe all this angst about “where” is completely misplaced – we should be worrying about “how”.

      Another criterion that seems odd to me is the “grave” part of cradle-to-grave. I’m not saying that we should just put anyone over the age of 17 out to pasture (though some should probably volunteer), but while developing kids at a very early age will certainly pay dividends later, I don’t believe the purpose of the HPL is to prepare U13-18 players for Men’s or Women’s League – that’s the mandate of BCSA. HPL’s first objective as stated by the HPL committee is to “simplify scouting for National Training Centre candidates and provide a focus for top young prospects.” No adults in that statement. My point is that things like a lack of a fully developed adult program should not be grounds for immediate exclusion of any bid. And if adult programming and location are the basis for why the Van-Rich proposal will beat out Sportstown FC’s bid, (or why any club will beat out any other club) then I would suggest we refocus a little and keep our eyes on the prize.

      PH

      • Phil Hernandez says:

        2 corrections.
        1. I realize there is a selection committee but I am assuming that their job is to recommend and that BCSA’s is to decide. In any case, it would be very surprising if BCSA did not have the final word on the awards.
        2. The third sentence suffers from lack of punctuation; it should read: “We posters assume it (BCSA) will, not only because…”

        PH

    • Rich says:

      I find it interesting that Steve Weston is named as a coach in the Sportstown bid but is one of the technical advisors on the Van/Rich bid. Odd.

      He’s going to coach 2 teams for Sportstown and be head coach of Douglas Park Soccer Club. The man must get his sleep while he’s on the loo! Great coach. Glad to see he will be coaching at HPL level.

      I maintain that Van/Rich/TSS should have worked together and placed a bid as one entity. Had they done so, they would have the strongest bid going in and if awarded a franchise would have attracted many talented players who would have really been give the chance to develop. Sorry, I’m being redundant, but as it stands TSS won’t get a franchise and the Van/Rich bid is an arranged marriage that could go either way.

  21. m says:

    i sure hope banjo man isnt the third person on the committee.

  22. Banjo-man says:

    As per Colin’s comment that the BCSA is a membership organization and should therefore publish all applications, the provincial or municipal governments don’t publicize RFP bids and they are not a private business either. In fact, some would argue they are MORE of a membership driven entity owned by ALL of us.
    I was also going to comment that the RFP stated academies couldn’t apply and I don’t believe TSS/Sportstown is even a paying member of the BCSA? And how can they be non-profit when they have private owners by the way? I believe when Mr. Birarda left TSS he got a payout for his stake….doesn’t sound very non-profit to me??

    • K says:

      Before Colin responds to Banjo-man, maybe a discussion like that is better served in private between yourself and Colin and not applicable to HPL?

    • m says:

      go post on TTP banjo man

    • Coachrich says:

      TSS should be a member and they would be a member of a PSO if they were in ON. What does that say about our system in BC. Yep, the statu quo rules to protect their geographic serfdoms.

      Geographic serfdoms that include club or District academies that compete with TSS and others. Hence why should clubs be allowed to have academies when academies can’t be clubs?

      If we exclude TSS and other academies then why should we include the clubs with academies and the Whitecaps? Seems there is a double standard here. In the USSF system, academies have their own parallel pathway with the other youth Associations. Canada has only 1 youth pathway due to our small youth numbers compared to the US so why are we excluding academies? One word, serfdoms.

    • Phil Hernandez says:

      Banjo-man: you seem to have a pretty good handle on all of this RFP, BCSA membership stuff (whereas I’m just an interested and mostly uninformed parent). You seem concerned over the interest here on making the proposals public but, other than correctly pointing out that its SOP for many entities, you haven’t really stated why you would be against it. In the interest of glass houses and full disclosure and all that, is this because you represent one of the groups bidding? You are starting to sound like someone I might want to know as we begin to wander through the HPL forest. Would it be ok to ask who you are? Feel free to email me at felipeh at telus dot net (I believe Gregor’s policy is that you don’t have to reveal yourself of course.)

      PH

      • Gregor says:

        Not so much a policy as much as it’s a construct of WordPress. People can pick any username and put a fake email address in and still be able to post. I can choose to approve or “unapprove” the comments. As I said a few minutes ago, it’s better all around if we all know who’s at the table here. Anyone’s who’s had to deal with anonymous sniping can attest to that.

      • Phil Hernandez says:

        Ah, tx. My real name is actually Anthony Quinn. Please direct all emails to zorbathegreeklives@deadactors.com

  23. m says:

    this competing for regions thing is stupid… if there are no boundaires then the best bids should get it regardless if they are down the street from each other. Its called a derby when they play each other and thats the type of envirnoment we need to create.

    i dont believe clubs joining together is a strong bid thats why CMF is a strong bid cuz they can do it themselves and control everything they do from the inside. Sportstown FC is another perfect example.

    Abby giving LFC the girls side of things is a massive mistake. LFC is a poorly run program thats why Langley United is opening the door to girls as girls deserve a proper program and LFC cant tie their own boots up let alone run soccer programs.

    if Sur Del Peg or what ever they call themselves is a good bid and so is Surrey United and so is South Fraser then they all deserve it.

    btw PM is not supporting GE… they are supporting CMF along with port coquitlam (this is stated on the CMF website)

    • Phil Hernandez says:

      He meant Pitt Meadows not Port Moody

      And speaking of TTP:
      “Abby giving LFC the girls side of things is a massive mistake. LFC is a poorly run program thats why Langley United is opening the door to girls as girls deserve a proper program and LFC cant tie their own boots up let alone run soccer programs.”

      Ouch…

    • Larry says:

      from the CMFSC website

      “Our club is pleased to advise that two successful Tri-Cities soccer clubs have put their formal support behind our HPL franchise application. The Port Moody Soccer Club (PMSC) and the Port Coquitlam Football Club (PCFC) communicated their intent to officially partner with CMFSC and commence building what could be one of the best regional partnerships to surface from the new BC High Performance League. This regional partnership and strategic alignment will benefit all members and their organizations.”

      • K says:

        As expected. Already happening though isn’t it? Surely the best from those two clubs are already going to CMF?

    • Mark Berry says:

      right… so a North Shore parent will have to pay thousands for their kid to play soccer AND will have to drive to Surrey a minimum of four times a week to boot… brilliant…

  24. Colin Elmes says:

    Banjo, Julie et al.

    Sportstown FC is an incorporated non profit. It has its own BOD etc. TSS supplies technical support to the Club. TSS Academy does not “own” Sportstown FC.

    Sportstown FC is currently not a member of the BCSA. Just like the non “Super Club” bids put in by other joint entities. TSS Academy has applied for Limited Associate Membership status in the BCSA. Our application is currently with Member Services and will be reviewed by the Membership Committee and the BCSA Board in the coming weeks.

  25. Banjo-man says:

    Why would i go post on ttp as I thought you guys on here were all about transparency in the process?

    • Gregor says:

      You’re totally welcome to stay Banjo-man. And while I understand why some people need/want to post comments anonymously, for me, credibility is enhanced enormously when people put real names to their words. That’s not just directed at Banjo-man. Again, I get why some feel they can’t but it’s definitely better when we know who we’re communicating with.

    • Phil Hernandez says:

      “Why would i go post on ttp as I thought you guys on here were all about transparency in the process?”

      OK am I the only one that finds that comment funny? How can anyone hide behind “transparency in the process” and post anonymously? Never mind Banjo-man. Let me say what Gregor is too polite to say: post your real name if you’re going to throw stones because otherwise you are just a coward.

  26. Colin Elmes says:

    Gregor, I concur.

  27. Colin Elmes says:

    Anonymity will not stop me from answering peoples questions.

  28. Banjo-man says:

    I am simply a community coach who has read all the HPL info, understands the process, and has the bettterment of the game as the main interest. I am not tied to any one applicant. I see flaws in many things youth soccer related but this page was started to discuss the TSS proposal and that’s what I was doing. As long as all 8 successful applicants are selected on merit and potential then I see no issues but don’t feel it makes the process any better to have the actual proposals floating around. Colin chose to post his and that’s his perogative, and it’s my perogative to comment in a public forum that has invited comments.

    • Phil Hernandez says:

      We all have the “betterment [sic] of the game as [our] main interest”. On that much we agree. This thread was started to discuss the Sportstown FC proposal but your first post was about scolding us for “missing the point” with regards to RFP processes. Then you turn on Colin for previous rants and accuse him of being interested in acquiring a rock.

      Proposal questions/comments? Zero.

      You follow that post up with a rant of your own about the RFP process (again) and how TSS isn’t part of BCSA and isn’t a NPO (all true…and irrelevant since Sportstown FC, from whom the proposal came is an NPO) and (inappropriately, to some) cite some payout.

      Proposal questions/comments? Zero. Again.

      You justify your stone-throwing as being about “transparency in process” while posting anonymously.

      Proposal questions/comments? Zero. Again.

      You won’t reveal yourself (your right) and tell us its your “perogative [sic]” to post your comments.

      Still waiting…

      Signed
      Phil Hernandez

  29. K says:

    Um….does anyone have comments questions about the Sportstown bid package? I haven’t read it in full whatsoever so forgive me if this is actually addressed.

    Colin, can you just clarify what you intend to do to provide adult male programs starting at u20/21? I know the bid package says Sportstown is addressing the issue, but I didn’t see what the intentions were. Most of the bidders have a summer and winter male program. Would Sportstown also?

  30. Larry says:

    Colin, I think the focus on learning and development is fantastic. The development of the individual player from a technical perspective is the thing most lacking in Canadian youth soccer today. The proposed Sportstown system of play employing a modern 4-3-3 with a triangular midfield as a playing style looks very “Dutch” like and is a proven youth development system in many European countries.

    The proposal appears to have the TSS academy as a potential feeder route into Sportstown FC. Each year, you probably have a steady supply of players in the U8-12 TSS groups, but given that there could be thousands of players out there that need better development, how would Sportstown look to reach out to clubs and communities and perhaps affect some change at these age groups?

    Also, there is an epidemic of sports related injuries in North America. How would Sportstown FC address player health & wellness?

  31. Banjo-man says:

    I think PH has some issues to work out. Jumping all over someone who is pointing out issues with what was posted for public consumption/debate? Yeh ok.
    Facts:
    – TSS/SFC aren’t currently “under the umbrella” as all others bidding are so there’s nothing wrong with pointing that out.
    – My OPINION was the RFP’s shouldn’t be public and the 8 franchises would be judged by parents/players in the next step of the process.
    – This webpage is anonymous by it’s very structure. As I said, I’m just a community coach eager to see where all this goes who wants to see it succeed.
    – The TSS/SFC proposal clearly states “non profit” and yet a former part owner got a hefty payout, so questioning the non-proft tag was the theme there.
    Go get a hug PH, or perhaps spend some more time reading up on things before you attack people that have done the reading.
    Good luck to Colin though. I’ve never met him personally but know he would do a good job if the selectors award him a franchise.

  32. G says:

    The Sportstown/TSS bid is a strong bid. If there are eight other bids out there which are stronger than the Sportstown/TSS bid, then we are in for some really good soccer development. The granting of the HPL franchises should not be based on municipal boundaries, it should be based on who best can develop players. TSS doesn’t just coach players, they develop players. They have very strong, technical coaches under one umbrella with the same philosophy. I have no doubt that if Sportstown were granted an HPL franchise, it would be very successful. My message to BC Soccer is this: come on, take a chance on the Sportstown bid, if you have eight better qualified HPL bids, then grant nine franchises and add Sportstown into the mix or grant Sportstown an HPL Tier 2 franchise to bring them into the system.

  33. K says:

    Colin. I put your bid up on the washingtonpremiersoccer message board in the HPL thread. Those folks are interested in how HPL will be run and developed as they also have recently set-up premier youth leagues and a regional champs league with Oregon which HPL will look at joining.

  34. Joe says:

    If HPL is going to succeed it needs to be run by soccer academy’s. (And no I don’t work for TSS. )
    As a past president of a soccer club and a district rep I’m all to familiar with political in this province . The clubs with metro teams right now out number the metro teams with franchise the only undecided area for a HPL team is Surrey /Delta. If they give this area too many team and the rest of the province will be screaming, if you don’t give them enough then it swings the non HPL metro team into competing league .
    We already went down this path with Y league. Clubs that were awarded Y league teams were not supported by competing clubs in the area .

    We need to find a solution where we are all working together in player development.

  35. K says:

    Can you clarify how the SYL process for adding teams was similar to the HPL process of granting franchises?

  36. MJ says:

    I like TSS. I like what they have done to push the game forward. Lets be honest. The value for money in what they provide to the range of players (yes they have some good ones but also some poor ones and a range between) in very good. The BC soccer association has provided no leadership what so ever to take the game forward. The exact reason why private academies like TSS emerged and grew is because the provincial organization has done nothing to take on this role with the more elite level players.

    Despite a strong proposal and an admirable willingness to push it out for all to see I am not convinced about the quality of the coaches who will be involved in operating the TSS teams. I say this in the context that the TSS coaches are still stronger than most HPL franchises will offer but are they ALL elite level coaches? Not in my opinion. As many have suggested, finding elite level quality coaches for this league is going to be difficult. Finding “B” level coaches who are well liked, know how to put on a show, and own an adidas tracksuit will not be that difficult. Finding coaches who have an end or vision in mind, who can articulate what this vision looks like on and off the field, who know what a quality player can do with and without the ball, and who know how to develop quality over a period of time, will not be easy. Without such coaches the league will be same old same old except the kit will look nicer, the pre match routines will be spiffy, but the end product much the same.

    The last point I wish to make about the decision making process in regard to HPL franchises is the complete lack of a review process. It would appear that the first decision as to who gets what will be the only decision. I hope the HPL works and I will support it. I fear the rush to push it through might see the opportunity the really take the game forward get trampled over.

    • Gregor says:

      Some very valid points MJ. There’s a ton of B National coaches these days and there’s a lot of imposters out there in adidas as well. Without pointing the finger at Sportstown coaches I think it’s fair to say from what I’ve seen and heard about various franchises coaching prospects, very few will have elite level coaches from U13 to U18 on both the boys and girls sides.

      As for the end result looking much the same, just dressed up in spiffier uniforms, here’s a funny story I just had passed on to me.

      The Whitecaps Residency team played Surrey United’s Metro Premier team tonight. Surrey were missing Jeff Clarke, Steve Kindel, Steve MacCauley, their leading goalscorer (who’s also the leading goal scorer in the league) and a former U20 national team player who’s normally their centre mid.

      This was part of an NTC scouting trip so Ray Clarke and another national team coach were there along with Mike Findley from BCSA. So it was a highly relevant game for the Residency squad.

      The Caps did have some young players out but they also had Randy Edwini-Bonsu.

      Final score 5-2 for Surrey United. Is this what all this HPL stuff is leading to? A thrashing from a half strength pub team? 😉

      Then again maybe we’ll see four or five of the Surrey United squad given call ups by Stephen Hart and Surrey United coach Niall Thompson brought in as his assistant…

  37. MJ says:

    I think the key to most disasters at the BCSA would be Mike Findlay. About as progressive as relying on fossil fuels for the future economy.

    • K says:

      I’ve never met Mr. Findlay or worked with him. But I’ve yet to hear something positive about him. I’ve also never heard anything concrete about what he does wrong. Any have a factual example? Note the word FACTUAL.

      • Gregor says:

        Last comment I’m taking that’s remotely personal on Mike Findlay. Don’t want this turning into a blame-fest for things that have already happened. Let’s keep this thread focused on Sportstown’s proposal or at the very least general HPL comments (since I’ve already gone off topic a couple of times myself…)

      • Phil Hernandez says:

        Agreed, K. I am not plugged in enough to know much of anything about Mike Findlay beyond what I can scour from the internet. And frankly there ain’t much out there (well, I found <a href'="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Findlay&quot; title="this" , but I’m guessing its unrelated ;)).

      • Phil Hernandez says:

        10-4. Sorry to have slipped that one in…

      • K says:

        Cheers, GY.

  38. Gregor says:

    Most of you have probably seen or heard about this already:
    http://www.bcsoccer.net/bcsa/RotateNewsArticleView/tabid/243/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/1404/BC-Soccer-introduces-the-High-Performance-League-Selection-Panel.aspx

    “The panel is comprised of Paul Barber, Chief Executive Officer with the Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Sean Fleming, the Canadian Soccer Association’s U17 Boys’ National Team Head Coach and Paul Mullen, BC Soccer’s new Director of Operations, who just recently joined the Association after a decade with The FA in England.”

    So the three people, purportedly, charged with selecting the winning applications really have virtually no knowledge of local youth soccer. Does that mean they have been picked because they can be completely objective in assessing the bids and not tainted by past involvement with the various agencies of our soccer environment? Or does it mean that they will now become reliant on one or two behind the scenes operators (WOOF!) to guide them to an amenable decision?

    • Phil Hernandez says:

      “Does that mean they have been picked because they can be completely objective in assessing the bids and not tainted by past involvement with the various agencies of our soccer environment?”

      I don’t see why they wouldn’t be. (I do see why many wouldn’t want them to be…). But its all trumped by:

      “Or does it mean that they will now become reliant on one or two behind the scenes operators (WOOF!) to guide them to an amenable decision?”

      Likely. But keep in mind that nowhere does it say (despite the word “Selection” in the panel’s title) that they will actually select the teams. Instead it says only that they “will analyze the 11 applications” and “to spearhead the selection process” and “to evaluate[emphasis mine]. Whether intentional or not, BCSA has left it open as to who will actually make the final decisions.

      PH

      • Gregor says:

        “But keep in mind that nowhere does it say (despite the word “Selection” in the panel’s title) that they will actually select the teams. Instead it says only that they “will analyze the 11 applications” and “to spearhead the selection process” and “to evaluate” [emphasis mine]. Whether intentional or not, BCSA has left it open as to who will actually make the final decisions. “

        Good point and one I agree with. I don’t think these guys will be the ones who really call the shots in the end and, yes, the wording of that release allows for this.

  39. Supporter says:

    While the final score in that game was 5-2, I am not sure that is an entirely fair reflection on the quality of the game. SU certainly deserved the result, but the scoreline doesn’t indicate that the game was a little closer than that.

    That is true about a pub team though 🙂 Although it’s a pub team with a full recruiting network. Not sure how many SU elite actually come through their system??

    • Gregor says:

      My source says Surrey United ‘pissed’ them in the second half and the Residency team completely lost their shape and focus.

      Yeah not really fair to compare the world wide recruiting network of Surrey United to that of the Whitecaps Residency program….C’mon.

      • Supporter says:

        I wasn’t really comparing the Whitecaps to SU, but what I was saying is that SU doesn’t really develop as many players as they might like you to believe. They are great at recruiting – no question. I am not saying it’s a bad thing, just the facts really.

        As for the game itself, I would generally agree with the evaluation of the second half. SU was far better around the goal certainly finished their chances. The young caps should have converted a few as well.

  40. K says:

    Gregor, I like to hope it is because they can be objective. Call me unrealistic if you like.

  41. Canadian Spur says:

    Since the 3 evaluators are not long term fixtures in the BC soccer scene I suspect that they will need more than just a glossy document to make a decision/recommendation. I expect that the applicants will be aksed to give a live presentation and answer questions. Hopefully this will help determine which bid has truly covered all of the bases and which just put out a document saying what the BCSA wants to hear.

    Paul Barber will have some limited knowledge/experience with BC youth soccer as I think his son plays in the Select league (North Shore?). I don’t know the other 2.

  42. NEXT TO GOD says:

    22 pages, why that must have taken weeks to put together.

    I understand some of the Applications took hundreds of pages to properly submit the required info with detail.

    Would Gregor post that along with the Vdeo Testemonial;s from National Players and MP’s etc.?

    BCSA so far has done a great job with this process, just because a group who has always balked at BCSA did not like it, why worry about it.

    • Gregor says:

      As already mentioned, I’d be very happy to post any other entities’ bid application (with their permission).

    • Phil Hernandez says:

      Not that anyone’s counting, but the Sportstown FC proposal is actually 73 pages including the relevant appendices. I don’t know if BCSA specified the number of pages for a proposal to be considered “properly” submitted or if they were more concerned with, you know, things like technical staff and technical programming but I suppose its possible.

  43. Colin Elmes says:

    Hi All,
    Just catching up on questions specific to Sportstown FC-

    Question from “Larry”
    Also, there is an epidemic of sports related injuries in North America. How would Sportstown FC address player health & wellness?

    Answer: The HPL will ask players to specialize in soccer, meaning that soccer training is their focus and priority. This priority will cause some concern as many of our top soccer players are athletically inclined to succeed in other sports, and we need to be cognizant of player health. Certainly, we as coaches and a club will respect the periodization table which allows for seasonal rest periods. As well, we will monitor what we see in training and game performances to ensure that players remain healthy, we have a certified trainer on staff who will assist with fitness programs to ensure maximum strength, agility, overall endurance. We really need to communicate and educate help parents with the overall health of players, because we don’t control their participation in school sports, or family type activities like skiing etc. But we need to know about it to be able to manage the players output. Obviously, our code of conduct aids our ability to prioritize their game performances, but this is really a culmination of proper training, nutrition and a coordinated physical and athletic plan leading up to events.

    Question from “Larry”

    The proposal appears to have the TSS academy as a potential feeder route into Sportstown FC. Each year, you probably have a steady supply of players in the U8-12 TSS groups, but given that there could be thousands of players out there that need better development, how would Sportstown look to reach out to clubs and communities and perhaps affect some change at these age groups?

    Answer: There’s no question that as mentioned “thousands of players out there need better development.” We wish there was a simple solution to that problem but that’s a pretty global issue. Sportstown FC/TSS Academy can only have a direct impact on the players in its club and academy. We can definitely reach out to surrounding clubs to provide guidance on how best to help develop players within their respective clubs. That being said, we don’t want to presume to have all the answers. We would be interested in having technical meetings with the head coaches of all soccer clubs to share ideas, problems, and possible solutions. At the end of the day, HPL will only succeed if everyone in our soccer community approaches player development in the most thoughtful and professional manner possible. HPL is not a magic bullet. The quality of the players entering the HPL will have much to do with what type of development these players received before U13.

    Question from “K”

    Colin, can you just clarify what you intend to do to provide adult male programs starting at u20/21? I know the bid package says Sportstown is addressing the issue, but I didn’t see what the intentions were. Most of the bidders have a summer and winter male program. Would Sportstown also?

    Answer: K- I would say that “some” of the bidders have a summer and winter male programs. Sportstown FC has had discussions with the USL regarding a male team in Super 20 for 2012 and we will also be looking at the PCSL as a destination in 2012.

    MJ- thanks for your perspective. I realise that there was no question in your post but thought I would comment just the same. I would suggest, looking at the big picture of the game world wide, that we have no elite coaches here locally. We all still have very much to learn(present company included) in this regard. Saying that, I am comfortable with the people we have put out for these teams and they would agree that we all still have a long way to go in presenting appropriate programming which is elite in nature

  44. SP says:

    Supporters Comment:

    “I wasn’t really comparing the Whitecaps to SU, but what I was saying is that SU doesn’t really develop as many players as they might like you to believe. They are great at recruiting – no question. I am not saying it’s a bad thing, just the facts really.

    As for the game itself, I would generally agree with the evaluation of the second half. SU was far better around the goal certainly finished their chances. The young caps should have converted a few as well.”

    Supporter, your facts regarding this game vs. Residency are quite incorrect. This specific game had 7 players who have come from the Surrey United youth system. Niall does a great job of getting them involved with our senior team.

    Funny enough, one of the better Residency players that evening is also a SU player since U-7 and is off to Florida with the Canadian U-20.

    Also, the senior players on the SU team were all National team experienced players themselves, so it shouldn’t be a slight on the Whitecaps Residency team who are quite young and hopefully learned something from that game as far as sustaining their focus and intensity for the entire 90 minutes. The game was used a learning tool by the Whitecaps coaching staff and not to try and prove something.

    .

    • SP says:

      Oops I left out a player. There were 8 players who are Surrey United youth players who played in that game. I can name them all if you wish. It makes your comment that we don’t develop as many players as you think quite inert.

  45. SP says:

    Oops again. 9 if you count the Whitecap’s Residency player and might as well throw their coach who also spent 10 years with SU. You get my point.

  46. SP says:

    Oh my! Oops. Forgot Spencer on the Residency team as well. That brings it to 10!!!!!!

  47. Mark Berry says:

    I’ll give you a positive review on Findlay… I did my B provincial with him last summer and found him to be an excellent coach and teacher… I suspect the problem at BC s the stuff that goes beyond strict coaching and teaching… I had heard the usual commentary from various sources, but I’m glad I kept an open mind because working with him was a very positive experience… He could have dumped all over us if he wanted to but he was unfailingly constructive…

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