BCPL: Vancouver-Richmond boys tryout

Swung by last night after I finished the two evaluations I was running to catch a bit of the first VR U13 boys tryout at the field next to me at UBC. Good turnout. Jason (Jordan) and Rich (Hawes) said it was 55-60 kids and the standard was good, if predictably frenetic.

Some very good players there and from several ‘Districts’ (the first step in relegating a term to being an anachronism is to put it in quotation marks consistently) outside Vancouver and Richmond. Supposedly the very strong ICSF U12 gold team has a large number of players opting for MUFC but if VR can hold onto the best players who showed up tonight they will do well.

The other thing that emerged last night is that it seems almost certain now that there will be a U17 BCPL division on both the boys and girls sides which means there will also be a separate U17 MSL division as well.

And don’t expect to hear VR announce coaches anytime soon.

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52 Responses to BCPL: Vancouver-Richmond boys tryout

  1. Colin Elmes says:

    So U18? Glad the numbers were up. but you know some of these players will be at other assessments kicking the tires- as expected. so dont measure standard just yet…..

    • Gregor says:

      There will be separate U17 and U18 BCPL divisions. This has been rumoured the last couple weeks and while it’s not 100% yet, it does seem that this is what will happen in the end.

      Yes, lots of tire kickers/club shoppers. Tis to be expected.

  2. K says:

    55-60 tells me there is room for more than 8 u13 squads/franchises. I wonder if the u13 BCPL would consider expanding to 2 squads per franchise at that age maximum. Ie, if one franchise only wants or only can run 1 squad, then so be it.

    Yes, a lot of those kids will be at CMF, and MUFC I imagine.

    Watching a u12 SYL tryout last night in Abby – I can imagine the pace at the VR u13 tryout was just as frenetic! Great choice in words. Stressful situation for these kids eh?

    I’d be interested to know Gregor what sort of evaluation they did? What was the session broken down to?

    Dropping u18? Will it now be called and limited to u17 or will the focus of the division simply be kept at u17 while allowing u18’s to play? Dropping the u18 division suggests to me the u21 divisions will now grow?

    • Gregor says:

      When I said there were lots of good players I didn’t mean that extended right through all of last night’s pack. I saw at least one of our silver players there last year and several underage players.

      I was only there for 15 minutes, mainly chatting with JJ and Rich but they were playing 6v6 or 7v7 with Pugg goals (only one gk registered by the way) when I was there. Lots of evaluators but they all seemed to be VFC coaches. Again not 100%.

      U18 not being dropped. Just adding a U17 age group. Most likely.

    • Phil Hernandez says:

      Not dropping U18 – the plan now is to have them play in their own age group but for only half a season. As I’ve suggested before, this will mean they finish BCPL at an appropriate time to prepare for entry into post-secondary or other non-PL calendared programs. It also resolves the issue of U16s having to play down their U17 year and then moving back up in their U18 year (as many have suggested would happen due to a bias towards selecting U18 players in a combined U17/U18 age group).

      For the inaugural season, the 94s will play their own mini-season and then half of the first full season.


  3. Julie says:

    The turnout for U13 girls not so good, mostly Vancouverites and not many from Richmond. Girls put into four groups and scrimmaged.

    • Gregor says:

      Yes. I mentioned that in an earlier comment. About 25 and between 2 and 5 of them from Richmond depending on who you talk to.

      • Coachrich says:

        RGSA started disbanding parts of their Metro program years ago.

        Clive Clarke’s U16 team has been the only anomaly in Rmd. This season the RGSA U15 are just mid pack and the U14’s bottom.

        The ceasing of the RGSA’s Metro program was another reason why they couldn’t carry on with their PCSL franchise and their Women’s program has leveled off at 2 teams.

  4. Colin Elmes says:

    K- there was 25 players on the girls U13 side a few nights ago. expansion is on hold….

    Unlike Y League a few years back, there are no(?) mechanisms in place to control when these tryouts are held and when rosters are announced( ie no one announces until this date etc). So getting excited about turnout levels( unless of course they are low) and standard is a mirage.

    • Julie says:

      A few TSS girls there, they looked good.

      • MJ says:

        Gregor- are you saying that they are adding U17, so there will be a U17 and U18 division (and for both Metro and PL)? Or deleting U18s?

        Curious, have a 1994 in the house that’s wondering what’s going to happen for her last year.

    • K says:

      Thanks Colin. ….. admittedly I was dreaming of the perfect world. Admittedly. As I suggested, only if the franchise can actually field 2 teams…..ie, a club like Okanagan might be able to get 2 teams’ worth but maybe not the depth to have 2 decent squads….no point in having a 2nd team that loses every game but a large discrepancy. Anyway…”perfect world” kinda talk….

  5. RR says:

    Re the BCPL, what is the minimum playing time per player? Or is there one at all? For $2000+ per season, I can’t imagine that Johnny’s parents will be pleased to see him riding the pine.

    Seems to me Gregor made mention earlier of parents armed with stopwatches…. Is there an attrition factor built into the roster estimates of 18-20? Or will 7-9 players’ families be expected to pay the full cost for maybe 10 mins of playing time per match?

    • Gregor says:

      My understanding of playing time, and someone correct me if I’m wrong, is that applicants were expected to outline a playing time policy that ensured reasonable playing time for all players but that the league itself, like all the other leagues, is not going to have a league wide rule on this.

      Unless BCPL clubs come out with an explicit rule, we’ll never know if there is an implicit one or just guidelines that are left with the coaching staff to interpret.

    • Phil Hernandez says:

      Just one comment on ‘playing time’. Can we please get our heads out of…the sand and see the big picture? The way I choose to calculate playing time is this:

      Everyone plays at least 75%!

      If you add in various chunks of ‘game time’, playing time increases as follows:
      15 minutes = 80%
      30 minutes = 83%
      45 minutes = 88%
      60 minutes = 92%
      75 minutes = 97%

      Most parents of elite level players understand this. Those that don’t, need to be told.

      • Gregor says:

        that’s a long learning curve Phil. Parents want to see their kids play games. Period. Telling them they’re getting their playing time at training is not going to go over well for most.

        As our club President says too, kids can’t be coached like they’re little adults. They get a lot of validation from participating and contributing to games. They don’t have the emotional armour to deal with sitting on the bench all the time. To have them train three times a week and not get sufficient game time is going to cause problems.

        Compounding the problem are large squad sizes. 18 for me is too many and this talk of up to 20 is ludicrous.

      • Phil Hernandez says:

        Fair enough Gregor. But we at least have to get the message out that games are not the primary venue for learning. This is the raison d’etre of academies such as TSS or Prospects. There are no parents at those programs complaining about playing time. And while coaches may not be able to coach their kids as if they were little adults, surely the parents have some responsibility in ensuring that little Johnny gets it if they aren’t playing as much as Bobby. Finally, I am not saying that game time is unimportant or that a policy around minimums shouldn’t be formulated or followed – it should. I hope only that the overriding message coming out of this league is not about the games but about the development – I know, I know, NOW who’s got their head in the sand? 🙂


      • The Kop says:

        Wow I have just sent this to Mancini over at Man City to explain to his players that they should be thrilled to sit on the bench after slogging thru training in the rain every day.
        ”Adebayor you are playing 75% of the time what is your problem.”Ooh he left didn’t he.
        Whilst I agree training is essential and part of the complete experience nothing compares to playing for both coaching purposes and that old forgotten word called FUN.
        These kids are not pro’s and sometimes I feel everybody loses perspective of what is important here.

      • Phil Hernandez says:

        Sure because a professional football club is exactly comparable to a youth soccer team. Come on…

        Nobody is saying they shouldn’t or won’t play. But focusing solely on game time is, in my opinion, the wrong perspective.

        Anyway, I’ve said enough on this…

      • RR says:

        Reads to me that what you’re saying is that parents “need to be told” that there are two systems at work here:

        1) What’s widely touted as the Pay-to-Play model
        2) The not so prominent Pay-to-Train model

        I get it that those who are more elite than others will and should get more match time than others — just not convinced that 15 mins of match time constitutes any great value to a player deemed capable of playing at that level.

  6. Colin Elmes says:

    as an applicant there was no request to provide that info on playing time policy

  7. Colin Elmes says:

    underage players. that is explicit- no 2000 born players at U13. So why are they there?

  8. Canadian Spur says:

    From the BC Soccer HPLP Prospectus:

    “4.3 Standards: The HPL Committee is developing criteria to be made available with applications for entry. Among the minimum criteria would be that applicant clubs would offer lifetime programming for both male and female players. Another key consideration will be the ability to host game day events in a central location for all teams over the two-day weekend. Other criteria will include qualifying for Canadian Soccer Association Club Charter minimum standards, adopting the Long-Term
    Player Development Program, minimum Coaching requirements and technical guidelines such as minimum playing time.”

  9. J Larkins says:

    Gregor, was there any mention of when VFC will schedule MSL tryouts for U13? I have no interest in BCPL for my U13 boy at this stage but he still has ambitions to play MSL. It appears that Jason will have lots to do before he gets to U13 MSL matters and you start to worry if, given the demands on them, they will simply take the next 16-18 kids from the BCPL tryouts that are in district and say – there is our U13 MSL team.

    • Gregor says:

      They have scheduled but not published them as they’re tentative. Sorry, not right for me to put that info up here as they aren’t ready for it to be made public.

      I think they will change them to be honest once they take a closer look at the dates they’ve picked.

  10. Larry says:

    The first phase of the “Battle of Surrey” begins tonight.

    Surrey United and South Fraser Soccer Club have scheduled all of the U13/U14 boys and girls tryouts to take place between March 10 and March 17. The tryout schedules have three sessions for each age group. The tryout dates are such that one club could have them on “even” nights and the other on the “odd nights”. A player who tries out for both BCSPL clubs could conceivably go to tryouts for 5-6 consecutive days.

    There are a lot of quality players in the Surrey, White Rock, and Langley areas. Pllayer turnout and the outcomes should be very interesting.

  11. Canadian Spur says:

    Apparentely Steve Allen has today sent an e-mail to all the PL clubs confirming the addition of the U17 age group.

  12. K says:

    Just put your “u17-u18” coach with the u17 group. Ask your u21 or men’s/women’s premier team coach to take on the u18’s for the half season and yer set….or maybe the u21/premier team’s assistant…..it’s not an insurmountable issue?? Every franchise has adult programs and/or u21 programs anyway….they’ll want those players under their wings.

  13. Colin Elmes says:

    Adult programming for U18 for half the season. K- what world are you in man? Many of the entities dont have a clear connection to adult teams(outside of letters of support) and certainly no programming cross over. Would never happen.

    • K says:

      No no, I was suggesting the coaches of the adult teams they are linked with connect with the u18 programs. One of the requirements for BCPL was to have adult male and female program links, was it not?

  14. MJ says:

    ThatU18 half season could be a bit of a bust if it runs March-July. There’s lots going on in their lives at this time (some good, some less so…) and College admissions etc. are usually done. In my house the focus was on grades and grad; I would think that lots of kids would opt out of this option unless it was tailored to meet their needs (ie few practises, finished in May).

  15. Colin Elmes says:

    its all band aid stuff at U18. Even in subsequent years.

    • Phil Hernandez says:

      What would you suggest, then? I ask that respectfully not defensively.

      Absent changing the season timeframe, one group or another is going to be impacted. If there is no U18 at all, then what of the U17s once play ends in late November of their grade 12 school year (at which time, age-group wise, they are actually U18s in the traditionally calendered leagues.)? Futsal? What program can they join that isn’t already in mid-stream or that doesn’t begin for 5 months? At least with a shortened U18 PL season (Feb to June) they have a secure destination that doesn’t impact their post-secondary season and doesn’t require either sitting for 5-10 months or trying to squeeze onto another team at the expense of some other player. I’m not suggesting that a half season is the answer but what are the alternatives? Won’t they want to stay in game shape for any scouting opportunities that are arranged/attended? If so, sitting and waiting until spring leagues start up won’t be an option. Is (part of) the solution for academies to offer intake in November of each year for U18s? Without a U18 PL age group, there will be 216 U18s that will suddenly have no team come the end of November. With a U18 PL age group albeit a shortened season, PL players would be required to take the mandatory break between seasons as per the periodization plan.

      Speaking of which, the periodization plan developed by the HPL Committee has incorporated ‘scouting events’ for the PTP and the National teams throughout the PL season but I am not sure how confirmed these are at this stage nor how these will be implemented. But this is only the tip of the iceberg; with or without U18 , clubs will need to develop programs to shepherd players into whatever post-PL programs make the most sense for them; and such programs will include but not be limited to arranging for scouting opportunities. I know that MUFC is already thinking about this and I am sure other clubs are doing the same.


      • K says:

        I hope they are thinking about post-u18. You want your best players to bypass u18 anyway…..heck, you want your best players to bypass BCPL at u16…moving on to bigger, better things. Kids need the challenge. Too many kids dominate their own age group physically and halt their own progress as a result.

  16. southofthefraser says:

    60-70 players at SU U-13 boys tryouts on Wednesday. South Fraser had 30ish last night. SF offering roster spots to out-of-club players after one session, if I’ve been investing in Peace Arch academy training I wouldn’t be too pleased.

    • rose says:

      Hey South, what club are you referring to that they are ‘ out of’ ‘??

    • Gregor says:

      I’m pretty intrigued by the whole supply/demand and fear of loss element here. At some franchises, the parents and players are more desperate than the club and take whatever bone is thrown to them. At other franchises it’s the other way around and the anxiety over being able to field competitive teams leads to (very) early offers to players in order to try to take them off the market and away from other clubs.

    • Joe says:

      This doen’t make any sense ? The SF club was formed a week ago isn’t every player out of Club ?

      • southofthefraser says:

        Each BCPL club has a development system (SF = Peace Arch, Semiahmoo et. al.; SU = GAC, SUS & LUYSA; Abby = Abby, Chilliwack, Langley Girls et. al. etc.), each of these smaller clubs have a development system/academy or are part of a regional academy. Families who paid to train up through their club’s system only to have unknown players (remember these are U-13’s and as of yet have not gone through a province wide evaluation) get offered positions after a 2 hour ‘look’ might be miffed.

        Gregor put it perfectly, “I’m pretty intrigued by the whole supply/demand and fear of loss element”.

  17. RR says:

    On the topic of periodization… an acquaintance recommended a book on the subject by Tudor Bompa. Has anyone read Bompa’s work?

    • Gregor says:

      No, but I’m familiar with his cousin, Fourdoor Honda…

      Sorry, trying to stay sane during our tryouts. Obviously failing.

    • I Caramba says:

      This was a mainstay of the old NCCP Theory level 3 course. Covered in the course, and in completing the yearly planning instrument.
      The old NCCP theory 3 manual if I remember right has quite a lot of useful stuff on periodization. Bompa pretty much invented this framework ( a bit like Istvan Balyi invented the LTAD model).
      For some reason that has never been clear to me, coaches in soccer have been credited with NCCP theory for years without ever having to actually complete the levels 1 to 3 courses. This is a pity as there was a lot of useful and highly applicable stuff in these courses.

    • Rasta says:

      Please not the ‘P’ word again.

  18. Mitch says:

    Over 40 girls at SF U14 tryout last night. Counted 10 of the provincial players there, it must be a good thing to to be a provincial coach and a TD of a PL club. It will be interesting to see how many girls go to the SU tryout today if they have already been offerd a spot with SF. Lots of girls from differnt clubs out side of the partnership.

  19. Outsider says:

    I Caremba- you have raised an excellent point which I don’t believe has been addressed here before. You point out a weakness in coaching development in BC Soccer.
    All BCPL coaches should have to take and pass the NCCP 3 course. The ability to create a detailed and periodized annual plan is a must if you are working with elite kids. I wonder how many have done it ?

  20. Mario says:

    I guess having your tryouts first helps to secure players before they know what else is out there

  21. Gregor says:

    Expect some sort of VR website out within a week and coaching announcements soon. The girls are all finalized and word is leaking out but I’ll leave it to VR to make it official.

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