BCPL updates (what else…)

This whole thing really is reaching fever pitch if the emails, calls and conversations I get and have are indicative of the overall level of discussion.

For the record, I still think this is a very good idea….long term. If we are going to rush to judgement and condemn processes and implementation (which admittedly have been flawed in the former and shockingly poor in the latter) used to get it off the ground it’s going to be one very flogged, dead horse before the first BCPL game is played.

As I’ve said recently to several people, no youth soccer league around here has had to endure anything like the scrutiny that this league is enduring as it tries to get off the ground. Part of that is understandable and good. This is a sea change for elite youth soccer when you consider the elimination of player movement restrictions, the much higher fees being charged, the increased commitment expected and the different playing season. If players and parents are expected to swallow all that then the accountability bar on the franchise and coaching side needs to be concomitantly high. But surely we can remove ourselves from Internet speed for a second and realize that the best time frame for a full evaluation of this league is more like two seasons and not two weeks.

And yes, on the pot v kettle front, I fully realize that this blog has become a lightning rod for this very high level of inspection and that I have fueled that to some degree. It may seem that the daggers are out at my end but truth be told a lot of things I get told and am prodded to post about BCPL do not get posted. I’m trying to stick to things of material relevance and keep this from becoming a perezhilton.com clone.

On that note, here’s a few of those things.

The Metro Ford notice about not fielding a U17 girls team is not what it seems on the surface. There has been a change, again, in how U18 is going to be run. There will be no U17 division. Franchises all have to put in a U18 team that can be a mix of U17 and U18 players. They then have the option of putting a second team into that same division but it can only be comprised of U17 players. Metro Ford has opted not to put a pure U17 team in. What I’ve been told is that the U18 boys division will have a total of 13 teams as a result (ie. some franchises opting to put a second, U17, team in and some not) and the girls will have 11 teams.

So again, Metro Ford opting to not put a U17 team girls team in is within the new structure of the league. That means someone else will have to be the one that takes the bullet for being the first franchise to say they can’t field a team in a particular age group. Safe bet it will happen and safe bet it will be on the girls side. I’ve had two lengthy email reports from parents who attended different BCPL evaluations at different age groups saying they just don’t see how that franchise is going to pull off forming a team despite having the best intentions. They don’t want to post the details and I don’t really want to embarrass either of the franchises by publishing the concerns related to lack of players and lack of suitable players because it’s clear the problem is almost endemic to all the franchises to some degree.

The Whitecaps have officially announced they are in the US Development Academy League (got my wrist slapped for posting that before they put it out in a press release) and that now means they are swooping in for another round of player additions to Prospects. This has messed up several BCPL, Metro and Gold evaluations and we’ve been told that the player additions to Prospect squads could continue through the spring. That would have been a good thing to add to the periodization chart because we’re now looking, at the club level, at having our evaluations continue into June (having started in early March). Messy. I’m already hearing from frustrated parents and coaches about this extended timeline and the change of dates precipitated by Prospects activities.

Speaking of MSL this is going to be the next arena of concern, primarily for areas like Vancouver where clubs are mandated to provide players for a District run team (VFC in the case of Vancouver). I’m patiently waiting for info from VFC on coaches, fees and training facilities for their Metro program but as I’ve said to Jason Jordan they’re going to have a tough sell on their hands if their fees are 200-300% higher and don’t have awesome coaches to justify both the cost and the fact that training will likely be downtown at Andy Livingstone.

Just as the current concern at BCPL is that some franchises can field teams that will be able to compete in their leagues, the same argument is soon going to be applied, not just to VFC, but to several MSL franchises who are hamstrung further by the out of district rule (that will likely be amended to allow five players at all age group rather than just U17 and U18).

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173 Responses to BCPL updates (what else…)

  1. K says:

    All things considered it is probably smart to give the u17-18 division that flexibility.

  2. Fred says:

    Gregor, who should answer the question: “Why should we as a club bother with MSL if we’re (now) a club big enough to field a team at that level ourselves? Why should we lose the massive advantages of doing it in-club (cost, travel, players moving up and down within club) if the team is made up of at least 75% our own Westside players?”

  3. Canadian Spur says:

    Frustrating but inevitable given the tight timelimes for implementation. I too think that in the long run this is the right direction for youth soccer. Let’s hope we can weather the storm until we get there.

    Can you enlighten us as to which franchises will be field a second (pure U17 team) in the U18 age groups?

    • Rasta says:

      The HPL effect could have been accomplished by massaging the Metro League and putting in place some of the same rules/guidelines/ etc., that the HPL has now.

      The season is fine (that’s when the game is played over most of the world) it has been for years.

      Less teams, better coaches in Metro – most of the problems would have been dealt with.

      • Gregor says:

        Most of the BCPL/HPL effect could indeed have been handled by massaging Metro/Selects but the one that couldn’t is that we now have a league that bypasses the Districts to a large degree and allows BCSA to have whatever degree of control over the league they want. So far, they don’t seem to want a large degree of control.

        As for the change of season, yes, that’s when the game is played in the rest of Canada (not the rest of the world though, maybe in the southern hemisphere) but it’s just another aspect of change that parents and players were being asked to accept. So with change usually comes explanation and justification if you want people to buy into that change.

      • Rasta says:

        Sorry I meant to say playing in the September to March season is just fine. We know the all (correct me if I’m wrong) of Europe play at this time. With turf fields now, weather is a very minor problem.

        The Districts were doing a decent job of running the leagues I think (except for allowing too many Metro teams and not seeding the U-13 A Cup Divisions properly).

        As I said (and you seem to agree) if the energy spent in making BCPL/HPL was put into improving the Metro League for the same reasons. How much better of a Metro League it would have been.

        Now, next topic. About the Provincial team format and coaching……..?

    • Gregor says:

      Don’t know to be honest aside from a couple but I wouldn’t name them anyways tbh. I’ll leave that up to each club.

  4. X says:

    am I right to think that kids should / will favour Metro teams that are part of clubs who also hold a BCPL ticket? IE; to ensure they are in the right “pipeline”? regardless of what their reasons are for going Metro instead of BCPL ( be it due to their own choice or due to not being selected to a BCPL )


    • Gregor says:

      Some definitely will see the BCPL/MSL linkage at one club as a benefit. Others will just go to the group that works best for them (coaching, price, logistics).

    • Canadian Spur says:

      With only 3 pre-existing clubs having franchises in BCSPL (CMF, Surrey United and Abby) there may not be a natural “pipeline” to every franchise.

      • Gregor says:

        Good point and, by the way, did I blink and miss that the league is now BCSPL and not BCPL? Noticed it on the CMF and MUFC websites and now your post.

      • Gregor says:

        Interesting that they placed the “S” where they did and not BCPSL; have to assume the intention is to tie the league to BCSA as an organization rather than BC as the region it is played in.

      • Canadian Spur says:

        Even BCSPL is old. With EA Sports involved I guess we should call it EASBCSPL 🙂

      • K says:

        I know….but there are also “affiliates.” Which is another matter altogether I suppose.

  5. K says:

    Has anyone been able to ascertain exactly what benefit is being provided by naming EA Sports as a sponsor?

  6. MJ says:

    Gregor -> in the case of the U17/18 does that mean there will also be the special U18 Division that plays Sept-June, as was mentioned as a next-year only strategy for the 1994s? Or do the 17/U18 teams pick up new players in June 2012 to make it through the second part of the 2012-2013 season in place of those that graduate.

    • Canadian Spur says:

      My understanding is that the “new” U18 division will end its season in July. Not sure what happens to the ’95s after that. That is something that needs to be asked of each club before you accept a spot on a U18 roster if you are a ’95 born player.

    • Gregor says:

      Sorry, don’t know and hesitate to even speculate as this stuff is still so fluid that it’s not going to be surprising if it changes several more times before all is said and done.

  7. singh says:

    I was at my daughters under 13 metro tryouts yesterday, and someone from our club mentioned Surrey United maybe folding the Under 16 girls HPL. The talent pool depleted, no coach accepting position and players have either stayed at metro (lad/tsw) or gone to other tryouts. Not good news.

    • K says:

      Well, a few potential solutions for franchises that are not able to field a team in a specific age or gender. The other BCPL franchises are invited to enter a 2nd team into that age/gender first. If not able to, then an invite can go out to other clubs/academies to apply to fill that spot on a single-year agreement. The original BCPL franchise would then have another year to try and develop that age group and fill it the following season.

      I understand that is not as easy as it sounds. And with players not knowing if their spot will stay in BCPL year to year they might struggle to enter. Also, people will say “why are they entering at a cost of $500 while we pay $2500??” etc etc. I can see BCPL growing and a few of the franchises able to field 2 teams at some age groups – especially u13 and u14.

    • Stuck in Bridge Traffic says:

      @singh re the U16 SU BCPL team…

      They have had a coach assigned – Head Coach Erin Porter (previously listed as the U18 coach) and Asst Coach Devon Wharf who has been involved with the Provincial Team program. This looks promising, exciting even!


      I’m told they had 20+ kids there – some very good talent attended, a handful of current and former provincial team players and several other capable players who deserve to be there.

      Looks like there could be a strong U16 girls BCPL team south of the Fraser which is good to see as there are some rumours swirling that one of this years stronger U16 girls Metro teams from south of the Fraser is going to stay together and play Metro.


      • Gregor says:

        “Stronger”? Dominant is the word I think. Perhaps one of our newer posters on here would like to clarify the plans for this team…

      • Stuck in Bridge Traffic says:

        Sorry… “this years U16” should have been “this years U15”. They’ll be trying out for next years U16 squad.

    • Gregor says:

      I think there’s several teams in danger of being folded but no one wants to be the first to do it. The reality is that it’s a better decision to fold a team if it cannot possibly compete than to stuff any player with a cheque in their hands into the squad and call it a BCSPL team.

  8. Coachrich says:

    “scrutiny” is a very good word and a often best practice that is missing in the soccer community as a small number of people make decisions for all the stakeholders.

    Far too often there is a rush to get some new program off the ground without figuring out who the best and right parties are to give feedback or get information from….in this case Metro and Select players, parents, coaches and admins. Next who are the best parties to develop a new program that can service all these groups. Who are the best program developers to follow the feedback and information from the stakeholders and other soccer communities to formulate a program. Who was charged to take that program draft back to the stakeholders to see that if that’s what the stakeholders want, would support it, would pay for it and in the end would fly without a lot of grief?

    Yep, the BCPL is a great concept but the transition from concept to reality is going to be a killer due to how those that the program impacts and needs the support from were basically totally ignored. This will not be the 1st time nor will it be that last and why this happens has all to do with how the sport is structure with voting, experience, accountability and linking to the sports stakeholders.

    I sure many of you have forgotten or never heard about the BCSA Member Service Management System.


    Seems to be a pretty quiet subject after $100 of thousands of dollars being spend each year and over how many years…..maybe 3 or more now. It’s being used by what Districts, what Clubs and what Leagues? Very few if any but the BCSA uses it for Competitions and that’s about it.

    Seems the lack of scrutiny and stakeholder involvement can be expensive. In this case a decision was made to use something no one uses when there are better alternatives out there and that were recommended. Kind of an interesting subject as another system was turned down that would have been cheaper, was out of the box, has a great success record with youth soccer, national level and pro sports. Oh, did I mention they have a 30 day money back guarantee too – http://www.bonzicentral.com/soccer

    Yep, I’m long winded but “scrutiny” and why and whom should have it is very important when it comes to stakeholders.

    • Post apocolypse says:

      Ask the players who were elected last year to “scrutinize” BC Soccer and they are the same ones who rushed through the BCSPL.
      They will tell you the districts voted it in…which is true, but I know one lower mainland district held their nose and voted yes..They were hoping it would be delayed little and well thought out.
      BCSPL= flying by the seat of their pants.

      • Coachrich says:

        Going further, the questions are always who in the Districts held a meeting with the clubs who in turn held a meeting with the club members about the need for creating a new league.

        Far too often the soccer community forgets we exist purely in and because we are a NPO member driven organization. Our failure is that we continue to not talk to the members who are paying. I often wonder if we did talk to the members and acted on their feedback how good and big the sport would be.

      • Gregor says:

        “Far too often the soccer community forgets we exist purely in and because we are a NPO member driven organization. ”

        I think there would still be a ‘soccer community’ if we were based around a model other than NPO’s.

  9. Post apocolypse says:

    I don’t think opening up other clubs to enter will solve the issue in the long term. It may just make it worse by having others join who now have less incentive to send their BCSPL worthy players to franchises that can support them.
    That’s what you get for pushing this through with little regard for the “customer” wants.
    Don’t get me wrong, I like the idea of the BCSPL but like Gregor says the implementation so far is disasterous.

    • K says:

      “less incentive to send their BCSPL worthy players” – shouldn’t really be a question. Should just be happening. IE, expose the kids to the Whitecaps and NTC via BCSPL, which is what we are all working for – improving soccer in Canada, not soccer in….name a district. Call me idealistic. I can take it!

      • apocolyspe now says:

        I wouldn’t send my daughter to the Whitecaps nor the NTC.
        Talk to those have been in it and the shambles it is in BC.
        Sure I would love it if she played for Canada, but the BCSPL is not the only route.

        What I meant was the regional partners are there to help develop players and hopefully send them on to the BCSPL. If we don’t have local clubs we don’t have regional franchises.
        If we have consolidation of clubs we have less local clubs.
        Not too many parents will drive their 8 year old across the lower mainland to play at one of the 6 franchise clubs remaining in 5 years. That will help development! If you think the BCSA and CSA fees are out of line now, wait until the number of “house” players drop off dramatically.
        Don’t forget who pays for BC Soccer…..

      • Gregor says:

        “If you think the BCSA and CSA fees are out of line now, wait until the number of “house” players drop off dramatically.
        Don’t forget who pays for BC Soccer…..”

        Good point. 75% of those paying fees that get passed on to Districts, BCSA and CSA couldn’t care less about elite level soccer. They want a well organized recreational structure for their kids, yet they pay the same amount in flow through fees…

  10. singh says:

    k, yesterday at the breakers under 13 metro tryouts, we had over 50 select players attend. Did someone force them to attend, or give them an incentive? Almost the entire u-12 team district champions is staying together for metro despite the offering of HPL. These kids are as passionate as anyone in the province, but the HPL does not appeal to them or their parents. So please just don’t “assume” everyone should just blindly be sheperded to the HPL. People are sick and tired of others making decisions on their behalf and then only coming to them when it is time to collect fees. Somehow they even know our name then.
    Putting fear into parents/players that you must attend HPL or else your soccer career is over is another tactic which has no relevance with the public. People want a better elite league but one which they (joe public) are a part of not just with their pay cheques but from the origin of the idea.

    • Canadian Spur says:


      I agree that no one should be forced/coerced to support HPL but there are alos coaches at the Metro/Select level that are actively trying to discourage their players from trying out for HPL saying I’ll guarantee you a spot on my team if you don’t go to HPL tryouts but if you do then you don’t have a spot on my select team.

      Coaches have to park their egos and think about what is best for the kids. Provide full and accurate information and then let the players and their parents decide what is best for themselves.

      • Coachrich says:

        Coaches may have to park their egos but the leadership of the sport including the BCSA, Districts and Clubs should be the ones who should set and lead by example 1st. The BCPL is another prime example of a creation the members had squat say in formulating or being asked for feedback before the fact.

        Our sport from top to bottom mirrors that of FIFA and the CSA. Both a old boys, secretive, unaccountable, undemocratic and authoritative ruled/run organizations that are out of touch and don’t bother to include the paying members who are paying to be serviced.

    • X says:

      in my experience which is perhaps not reflective of everyone of course, has been not that clubs have been trying to force, coerce or strong arm anyone INTO the HPL system…but contrarily I have heard of MUCH of what I describe above happening to players and parents to NOT consider HPL.

      I think that many of our readers / commentators know exactly what I’m talking about.

      I’m not saying that those parents / players who were put in that position have ended up in a bad place…but they may certainly have ended up there for the wrong reasons, or by the result of tactics that I would describe as let’s say…. untoward.

      The ideal of “player first” seems to have been lost some time ago among some parties, it was replaced months ago by “club first”.

      • Gregor says:

        I think the coercion in and out of BCSPL is happening in almost equal amounts. No one wants to be the first franchise to put their hand up and say, “we can’t form a team at this age group.” so they’re working hard to get players to recruit players into the system just as those who want to keep Metro teams viable are pulling in the other direction.

      • Rasta says:

        Well the HPL are strongarming now.

        To the Provincial players a document has been sent out by BC Soccer saying – play with HPL or else you will not be chosen for anything at a higher Level. Only the HPL can do it for you.

        To the potential Metro players – play with the HPL because only there will University Coaches see you playing at the ‘highest level’. I guess they will tell every University/College coach to not look anywhere else other than the HPL. The Metro League could not possibly have or develop players there.

  11. Richard says:

    I don’t know all the participation costs for players/parents of playing in the BCSPL, I haven’t been following all that closely but some of the figures I have heard have been somewhat alarming. This is the Achilles heel of an otherwise potentially excellent scheme as far as I am concerned. Perhaps a more businesslike approach should have been taken to planning and implementation, soliciting major sponsors to minimise or better still eliminate player participation costs and thus open up the opportunity to more than just the relatively affluent. Also, a league that involves some long distance travel does not appeal to everybody.

  12. Colin Elmes says:

    heard that the HPL Clubs have agreed/voted to be the only ones who have access to “A” Cup competition. So no MSL teams allowed to challenge at that level. Not clear what the protocol here is for a decision like this to get traction but I would imagine this is a tactic to leverage the BCPL as the only avenue to access Club National Championships.

  13. Mitch says:

    That is exactly the way it should be. If you choose to stay in the MSL and not play BCPL then you shouldn’t have the opportunity to compete for the A Cup and go to Nationals, you shouldn’t play provincial, you shouldn’t be invited to NTC, etc. It was your chose, or you allowed a coach to make that chose for you, to stay in the 2nd tier. Hence, 2nd tier, therefore B Cup. It’s all about choses.

    • X says:

      Have to agree with Mitch here, if it’s deemed to be “the path” then it needs to be so with MSL being the feeder to it.

      Granted I admit that in this first year, the two leagues may largely be equal but by forcing what Mitch describes above, that should change and force the talent up the funnel.

      BTW, cost is a real factor I realize but it’s a somewhat separate one altogether that should be addressed as I agree that even one talented player who doesn’t partake in BCPL (due to financial reasons) but belongs there is one too many.

      • Gregor says:

        Much as I want this to work, it’s not an established “path” yet. It’s an idea that is in its infancy and those responsible have to do the heavy lifting to turn it into a path. I’m willing to give them the time to prove it should be the path that elite players choose but it’s up to them to demonstrate why they should choose it over other leagues rather than force them by stripping away things like eligibility for ‘A’ Cup.

      • Brendan Quarry says:

        Isn’t that so typical of our soccer community. We try to force players into making certain choices by implementing restrictive policies rather than focussing on program quality as the primary enticement.

        We, at TSS, have seen that type of approach for years as clubs/districts/provincial bodies have tried to restrict our ability to travel or tried to instil fear in players for choosing our program over some club program. As we’ve always said: “If you want players/parents to choose your program then make your damn program better.”

    • Gregor says:

      The FA Cup wouldn’t be the same if they only allowed Premiership teams to compete for it. If what Colin says is true, I find this a cynical move, rooted in fear, to force kids out of Metro to BCSPL.

      • Colin Elmes says:

        There is a path? This stuff is being made up on the fly.

        Here is what has happened:

        MSL team- “come play for us- we have a good coach and a thoughtful program and we will go to tournaments in the US to challenge you further. Oh and we can even enter the A Cup and challenge the BCPL teams”

        BCPL- “Shit- didnt expect that to be a recruiting angle for a competing destination charging much less money for a product people understand. Rather than prove ourselves over the next season or two lets just close that loophole with an administrative adjustment”

        Mitch- you speak of choses(which I assume to mean choices). I would say that what you are suggesting- restricting access to NTC, national teams etc to just BCPL has nothing to do with choices.

        Our U20 Mens team just got scored on from their own half of the field to lose to Mexico and crash out of CONCACAF. I think we need to keep the player pool as wide as possible…..

      • Canadian Spur says:

        Unfortunately what Colin says is true. I was told this by one of BCSPL Governors.

      • Paul Chapman says:

        Yes, but if you win the Championship by 20 points it won’t gain you access to the Champions League. Would the winner of the Championship turn down promotion to the premiership to win trophies rather than compete at the highest level?

      • Rasta says:

        Cynical Indeed.

        This is in direct response to a couple of Metro Teams that I won’t name.

        Good coaches with good teams but…. they are Metro teams attracting good players.

        Can’t have that!!!

    • Rasta says:

      Did you mean ‘choices’????

      Sounds like leverage to me!

      • IHAP says:

        These coaches who want to keep their teams in Metro and offer an alternative are an interesting study. What motivates them? Is it for the good of their players? Are they “truly” being noble with their intentions? Are some of them paid coaches who have their own thing going? Would some of them “leap” at the chance if able to coach in the BCPL?

        What are the motives and agendas of all involved. I think many actually know the answer to this but skirt the issues at hand because their decisions to serve any initiative, BCPL, or Metro, is self-serving. Hey, no problem, but don’t pretend to represent something if you can’t support it by your actions or past actions.

        I know for a fact that some of these entities opposed to BCPL are using the “I don’t have any faith in the BCSA or CSA or Whitecaps to do the right thing” as an excuse to promote their own SELFISH agendas!!!!! Some of these agendas include keeping their teams together to support their leagues which operate the same time as BCPL, some to support the paycheque of their Metro coach who is also paid, and some to enjoy the free ride they have received to date.

        To those who enjoyed a great development program under their current Metro coach and now have that possibly taken away from them to ponder “unknown” enterprises, I understand. However, scrutinize a bit. Why hasn’t your coach entered the new structure? Most have been absorbed into the BCPL. Why hasn’t yours? Politics? I doubt it. That is always an excuse.

        I am by no means suggesting that there aren’t great coaches in the Tier 2 system that can continue to develop players. In fact, now more than ever, we need great Tier 2 coaches, but look at your SPECIFIC case and analyze accordingly. My opinion is that some of them are self-serving and ultimately not good for the advancement of the game.

        Funny how this process has revealed the true colours of some of the players in our soccer community. I know many are confused but in some ways, things have never BEEN SO CLEAR!!!!!

  14. Brendan Quarry says:

    Here’s what I believe to be the crux of the problem with BCPL. They’re charging a lot of money for something that has not yet demonstrated value. Business doesn’t work that way. You don’t collect a customer’s money without proving the worth of a product. And you certainly don’t collect a customer’s money for the same products they weren’t crazy about back when they were free.

    The league would have garnered much more support if they left out the Interior – thus eliminating much of the operational costs, and then let the clubs decide if they were going to charge money for coaching. Why was it ordained that all coaches were going to be paid for BCPL? The reason why is because the architects of BCPL falsely believed that if the coaches were paid, all the “professional” coaches would come out of the woodwork. That didn’t happen (not to mention that there simply aren’t enough “professional” coaches in our community to begin with).

    BCPL should have simply been a way to replace Metro and improve upon its deficiencies – fewer teams, no borders, and a different season. Forget the money until the clubs demonstrate value. That approach would have gone much smoother I imagine.

    Oh yeah, and perhaps a little more lead time than 48 hours to implement a brand new league that turns youth soccer upside down.

    • Gregor says:

      Brendan if you’d just waited six more minutes I hear Colin pays time and a half for pro-TSS forum/blog postings after midnight.. 😉

      I do agree that there was an assumption that making it a ‘pro-coach’ environment would draw out more coaches who do actually work full or almost full-time in the game. That hasn’t materialized and some franchises have been left with having to appoint non-professional coaches. Still, as an old post on here said quite bluntly, there’s a lot of pretenders out there hiding behind credentials and nice tracksuits, calling themselves pro coaches who are really no better than many parent coaches.

  15. K says:

    I didn’t buy a new track suit this year … magically my old one still fit and was in good shape. What does that say about my coaching priorities?

    Limiting “A” cup to BCPL makes sense to me. “A” cup was limited to MSL. Gold teams can’t enter even if they go “undefeated” because I believe the clause is you have to win the “B” cup two years in a row to apply for “A” cup. IE, the West Van u17 and u18 boys totally dominated their Gold divisions. What challenge are they getting in “B” cup I wonder?

    As for limiting PTP and Whitecaps to just BCPL players….well, I gotta agree that would be a poor choice. However, PTP and Whitecaps will be watching BCPL (you expect/hope) and thus are going to “pick the kids they know” over some kid who comes to a tryout more often than not. Also, although there will be some good coaches at MSL (look at the new CCB-Surrey FC MSL coaches – notice this went by without even a whimper – erm, I thought CCB was supporting PAFC who were going to be continuing!…) the “majority” of “good” coaches are in BCPL are they not? Like any league, anywhere, at any level professional or otherwise, the best are not always at the “top.” Just look at England and you will find brilliant coaches, exciting youngsters, and top professionals better than those in the EPL (Try to tell me Stoke has a better midfielder than Taraabt) or that the year before Hull was better than Newcastle.

    Cost? Yep, just might be too high. BUT, in the east/upper end of the valley I’ve not heard much complaint about it and have heard of many many kids very eager to play BCPL – on the boys side. It’s my understanding the coaches get paid to entice them, yes. I would imagine over time, this will entice them more-so.

    • Gregor says:

      A Cup was not limited to Metro/Selects teams. Gold teams could enter if they wanted but needed permission from their District. I explored that this year with my U16 girls gold team.

      Arguing that the majority of good coaches are in BCPL is dubious even in its vagueness. I see some good coaches in there but I see a lot of relatively unknown quantities and some people who are really in over their heads.

      • K says:

        Thanks for that clarification Gregor re: the cup entry. Was your bid approved (just for interest sake)?

        Yes, I was hoping to be clear by using the CCB Peg MSL coaching staff as an example – not all BEST are there in BCSPL. As is the case everywhere. Again, looking at England – and using Crewe as an example.

  16. X says:

    just for the record, I said “if” it’s deemed to be “the path”……

    I’m not telling anyone that it IS or must be the path.

    My argument is not that at present it IS but the powers are telling us that it is TO BE the path….so assuming it is or will be, then I stand by what I said above.

    Colin, whats your opinion on making sure you at least have the elite playing together then?

    I ask because my opinion is not based on being pro HPL nor any desire to squash or limit MSL…but rather the concern, at least right now in year one that the talent is split in two, we now have HPL and Metro teams that are each carrying 7-8 elite players and 7-8 players that perhaps should be at Gold.
    The split has nixed the idea of grouping the elite together.

    Again, I’m not pro HPL or anti Metro, but seeing the two seperate groups appears to have killed that vision of getting the elite together.

    Having said that, if the HPL teams intend to utilize their Metro program to reevaluate players and move them up and down ( another simple task I’m sure ) then I can perhaps see a “system” in place that could work….in theory.

    Based on the talk that I see here and what I hear field side re the politics even between coaches ( Metro & HPL ) that cooperation seems almost impossible right now.


    • Canadian Spur says:

      X. You have hit the nail on the head. The stated purpose of the league formerly known as HPL was to have a place where all of the elite players would play together to improve the level of competition and thus aid in elite player development. The old Metro and Select leagues were deemed to be watered down with too many “non-elite” players. Yes the professional coaching, increased training and different season were also important but not the driving force.

      Now with the battle for players between Metro/Select and BCSPL we potentially have 2 watered down leagues and we may, arguably, be worse off than we were before.

      I think at the younger age groups BCSPL is largely attracting the best but at the older ages where players are coming from established Metro or Select programs this appears to be not the case (or at least not in every case). As this new league moves forward players who entered BCSPL at U13 and U14 will hopefully stick with the program and not drop to MSL. Under this scenario it will take a minimum of 3 years to see if BCSPL is truly accepted as the best “Path” for elite players.

      • X says:

        Well I’m sure glad my kid is one of the guinea pigs….at $2300 a year…LOL….christ.

        Oh well, it should be an interesting adventure over the next year and a half.

      • Canadian Spur says:

        Good Luck X.

        Mine is one of those on the way out. Heading into U18 and completely confused as to what is best!

    • Colin Elmes says:

      X- dont have an answer there considering the model that has been created and has existed in the past. I believe that if the teams were owned and run like Junior A Hockey team and the players did not pay to play then it would happen in a heartbeat. But that would be “business” and of course we dont want to go there 😉

      • Coachrich says:

        Well stated and I totally agree.

        The worse thing the HPL committee did was to not look beyond their noses when many had stated don’t use the existing status quo of districts and the people who run them. Sadly, the short sightedness of the HPL committee is going to cost everyone a lot of grief for a couple of years.

        I would love to see a Junior A Hockey like pro soccer league with similar like clubs that were owned start up. It would be interesting to just to see how the BCSA or CSA would react. Hmmm, this goes on my Max spending list 😉

  17. scott says:

    I do feel sorry for players and parents that are trying to figure out where they will play next (this) year. As has been said before: This will take at least 2 or 3 seasons to resolve itself. In my opinion they should get rid of metro. Then you would have a super competitive Gold division and all Clubs would have a longer term “player development” plan.

    • K says:

      Well, the best gold teams will move up to Metro in this format anyway won’t they? So Gold is essentially silver now? Or am I off base?

      • Brendan Quarry says:

        I do agree that Metro should be eliminated. It’s just another administrative layer that’s not required. Having too many layers in a volunteer-based operation (or any operation) is not a good thing. While we’re at it, eliminate Districts.

    • Canadian Spur says:

      Scott, It doesn’t matter if they eliminate Metro/Select and just have Gold. Tier 2 is Tier 2 not matter what you call it.

      • MJ says:

        Yes and no. Our club is calling Metro/Tier2 the new “Gold”, but I know that there’s been an inconsistent response to that- it some cases Gold teams are going to tryout for Tier 2, in some cases not. Part of the problem is that the name “Metro” is still attached to Tier2, and that does not conjure up positives in some peoples view. Also, there’s inconsistency in rate at which former Metro players are going to the HPL. Finally, it seems HPL has stripped Metro of most of the coaches so there’s a lack of information about who is coaching and the costs (yet the tryouts are underway), causing reluctance.

      • scott says:

        I’m thinking that if Tier 2 is Club based and not District based, then each club will have a longer term plan for their players. Some clubs do control their Metro programs which is great. However a lot of keen coaches and players move out of their clubs after u13 leaving a huge leadership void. It could be better for all players.

    • Brendan Quarry says:

      Scott, I applaud your optimism but when have we ever had a league that’s started off weak and then become stronger over time? The opposite has been true. Leagues have started off strong and then become weaker (ie. Y League, IPL). I think the only way to fix this thing is to make some pretty significant changes very soon, changes such as dropping the Interior, eliminating the high fees, and get qualified coaches.

      We have to dispense with this notion that leagues develop players. They don’t. Good coaching develops players. Too many people seem to believe that all you have to do is gather the best players in one room and the development will magically take care of itself. Obviously having like-skilled and like-minded players in the same environment is a part of the recipe but coaching is the main ingredient here.

    • Gregor says:

      “I do agree that Metro should be eliminated. It’s just another administrative layer that’s not required. Having too many layers in a volunteer-based operation (or any operation) is not a good thing. While we’re at it, eliminate Districts.” (Brendan)


      I said this in one of my earlier posts on the league formerly known as HPL AKA BCPL but now officially EA BCSPL. Keeping Metro/Selects around was a huge strategic mistake. They blurred the lines when the situation called for demonstrating the distinctness of the new league. As for Districts, increasingly the only people who still want them are the people on the District Boards.

      • Canadian Spur says:

        I actually know a District Chair who would be in favour of eliminating the Districts. Now if we could only convince the rest of them!

    • Canadian Spur says:

      Scott, If Tier 2 were club based wouldn’t we have NO BCSPL clubs trying to convince players not to join BCSPL to make thier program stronger just like we are seeing now. Perhaps tier 2 should be a true reserve league for the BCSPL franchises

  18. Victorian says:

    simple solution – get rid of this volunteer based club system at the top level. It’s only good for recreational soccer.

    • Gregor says:

      Yeah, I think the next step in our youth soccer evolution is to move more towards the US model where some club serve elite players (and are fully professional and much more expensive) and other server recreational players (using volunteers for the most part).

  19. Mitch says:

    Will the league get stronger over the next few years?! By fall 2012 the Whitecaps are going to pull all the top kids out for their full time residency program for U14s and up. So a year from now it’s going to be even weaker. We’ll be left with a watered down, too expensive program. Then what?

  20. K says:

    Whitecaps won’t have just BC kids in their USSDA program. So no, not ALL the kids of elite status will be on the Caps. Maybe at u14 as not many will send their 12 or 13 year old to live away from home.

    • Canadian Spur says:

      The U14 program will only be for local kids as it is not an official part of the USSDA program.

      • K says:

        ah yes…that’s right. THANKS. u14 has a large number of quality participants for a wide variety of reasons. I don’t see the few who not only make Whitecaps but actually accept that invite as affecting BCSPL much. Remember…not all kids that are are going to WANT to drive to Burnaby that often for training if not from the near proximity, nor move there.

      • Canadian Spur says:

        I spoke to a parent last night who has had a child in the Whitecaps program and was concerned that their education was suffering. Not enough classroom time in the program. They didn’t want their child in residency until U18 program

      • K says:

        Education suffering?? How long do they practice per day?

      • Canadian Spur says:

        I was told they only had 2 classroom periods each day. Training in the morning, then class, lunch, class and more training. I assume that what the parent was telling me is true as I have no first hand experience with the program.

      • K says:

        Ya, that ratio should be reversed….and/or have an evening session instead. 4 classroom sessions per day minimum. Priority.

  21. Mitch says:

    You are talking about the boys side. Have a look at the ‘girls elite’ program on their web site.

  22. K says:

    Yes, I was talking about the boys side only. You are right.

    Will the league get stronger….if the coaching level stays high, if the benefit (National Teams, Whitecaps invites, international tournaments, national championships, UNIVERSITY scholarships) are shown clearly more kids will want to pay to play in the BCSPL??

    • X says:

      Well I’m sure glad my kid is one of the guinea pigs….at $2300 a year…LOL….christ.

      Oh well, it should be an interesting adventure over the next year and a half.

  23. Mitch says:

    Yes I meant ‘choices’ not choses.

    In retrospect I was a little harsh. I should not have suggested that players, out side of BCPL, be limited to opportunities. BUT I am targeting coaches who have either coerced or threatened players/parents from coming to this league. So these coaches want to have their cake and eat it to. “I’m going to keep MY team together and we also have the right to challenge for the A Cup” That’s not right. These coaches are trying to cut the legs out from under the BCPL league and then say “I told you so”. So why should we reward them.

    Champion league teams don’t compete against EPL teams for their titles. If we want to have a FA Cup style tournament involving BCPL, MSL, Gold, etc then do it BUT it shouldn’t be called the A Cup.

    If parents and players have opted out of the BCPL for what ever reason..great..good luck…that’s your choice but shouldn’t there be some ‘carrot’ for playing in the BCPL because if there isn’t then what’s the point.

  24. Colin Elmes says:

    The carrot is supposed to be superior competition, superior coaching resources, superior seasonal plans etc. The problem goes back to what I said months ago. Where are they going to find 80 sophisticated coaches for this league? It is even more magnified now that most of the ClubTD’s have scuttled around the thought that they need to physically coach some of these teams to give this new environment some credibility. Many who were on the Technical lists in many of the Clubs proposals have stayed out of it completely. So the price point has gone up significiantly and the consumer is saying I am not sure if this is worth the cost. But the community is all just supposed to fall in line and support it because it is the new player dev path? No, they are making choices on behalf of their children to stand on the sidelines for now( like some of the Club TD’s) and see where all this is going to come to rest. I dont blame them. On the girls side in particular this has been nothing short of a massive disapointment with numerous environments teetering on less than a roster of players showing up for assessments. First impressions have not been good and this new environment, less for its concept than for its roll out is already having to dig itself out of a hole. Not a great start for something that needed strong leadership from day one.

    • K says:

      Colin, do you speak for all TD’s or are these assumptions?? TD’s have full-time jobs to attend to and just maybe they want to coach a BCSPL team but don’t have the time right now? BUT, your point is clear and valid. The best coaches need to be there. I tend to agree on both parts. On one hand, yes, the carrott should be the superior environment which entices. On the other hand, refusing to participate “in the top league” should also limit your advancement opportunities. In the same way a kid who thinks “this silver team is the best place for me” can’t also then have that silver team playing in the “A” cup. That kid has chosen to play “at a lower level” and the consequence is “no A Cup.”

      • Rasta says:

        Limit one’s advancement opportunities????

        I think you are gone on to some other point.

        The issue is there should be a choice between playing HPL or Metro and because some are choosing Metro for now. All the arrows are flying because how dare a player choose Metro over HPL.

        Oh if they want to choose Metro over HPL, if a coach decides to coach Metro over HPL for the time being, we’ll show them. We’ll just do away with Metro. How dare they choose anthing other than HPL. Don’t they know what is best for them. If they don’t we’ll just have to tell them.

        The anology of a kid choosing to play silver being the same as a coach choosing to coach in Metro is a bit off.

      • K says:

        ^Possible! 🙂

        BUT, I see a skilled coach choosing to coach a lower level when they can (time, ability) coach a higher one no different then a player doing the same.

        I suggest everyone is in the same cup or everyone isn’t. If all are in, obviously pre-qualifying needed. Different topic I guess.

        I guess as the rule right now is a Gold team can “apply” for entry to “A” cup the same should hold true of metro teams now with BCSPL in place.

      • Colin Elmes says:

        K. Gregor Young, Steve Kindel, Roberto Sciascia, Steve Weston, Jeff Clarke(so far just TD), Ian Knight(so far just TD), Greg Berry(So far just TD), Mark McQueen(So far just TD), Franz Simon. Need I go on?

        I know this TD would have been coaching teams for Sportstown FC. People just dont get it. 50% environment, 50% coach. thats the formula. If the coaches were there(still not enough of them to go around- thats why I was going to do 2 teams) this thing would have already gotten more traction. There are people put in charge of these teams who are not ready to do this( and yes a big part of this is perception and not reality but thats how things work- particularly new things).

        The girls side of this program is in peril. Yes some of the entities have got it right. Who are they going to play? I have heard the only solid female age group in Van Rich is U13. The others….?

        I keep saying this. It is a user pay market now with no borders. You cant make people do anything they are not prepared to do.

        And when the climate is how it is right now, with people on this blog suggesting ultimatums like HPL or no A Cup it is just going to galvanise things further.

        One player dev path? Its just not practical when people are paying money. If there was no charge it would be very easy.

      • K says:

        CE – I know there ARE technical directors NOT coaching BCSPL teams. My question was – do you know their reasons? You’ve spoken with them. I haven’t, and I am not assuming their reasons for wanting to or not in any way. Do I wish TD’s were coaching? Yes. They are the top coaches around.

      • Rasta says:

        Shame on a skilled coach for spending time with lower level kids???

        Is that what you are saying there “K”???

        Again the anology of a coach coaching at what you deem to be a lower level being the same as a player choosing to play at Silver instead of Gold is quite a bit off!!!

      • K says:

        Quite the reach there Rasta? Please read the post again, and I refer you to the part about playing and coaching at a lower level and not having access to A Cup as a result.

  25. X says:

    regarding the issue of cost of BCPL being a major factor for some parents…..a parent I know who has a daughter a few years older than mine (mine is just 12 now so Metro / HPL etc are all new to us ) anyway…he said that most of the uproar over costs is happening at my daughters age group because the older ones have gone through at least one year of Metro already, perhaps combined with extracurricular training on top so the $2000 – $2500 tag for BCPL is not so shocking to those parents as it is to the “newbie” parents of 12 year olds.

    Anything to that?

    • MJ#1 says:

      Yes that might be the bill for Metro + extra training. But as I mentioned a long time ago, on the girls side at least there aren’t that many Metro teams anyway (6-10 per agegroup) and within that group is a smaller subset of players that I would consider really serious about playing to the extent they would play year round and take extra training (less than half, I would guess). The rest are good athletes that enjoy many activities. Consequently it was always going to be difficult to attract enough female players, especially at the older ages (and especially if it means breaking up already functional teams).

      This is where more consultation with the customer would have helped.

  26. valleysoccer says:

    The problem which the pro HPL commentors do not seem understand is every current metro age group is DEPENDENT upon the non Provincial players to participate in order to have a functional league, as you only have 18 provincial players and require 120 players talented players per age group. These are your athletes who may play other sports, or maybe passionate soccer players who are attend provincial tryouts or play y league. These component of your player pool is so crucial and you must have “buy in” from them in terms of understanding the new league, costs etc. We all agree the current metro system needs improvement, but if you ignore the wishes of the paying public or do not value their input, you are left with people walking away from the sport with no questions asked. People must see value in your product (high level of coaching standards, etc) in order to be enticed to participate, not threats or fear tactics, as most will not be provincial players but want to enjoy high level club soccer.
    This point I think has been sorely missed in the organization of hpl, because it was just assumed players would be follow directions to HPL tryouts. Reaching out to this segment in a sincere manner did not occur, as in any business your consumer has to be valued and respected.
    Your idea maybe noble and have some merit, but if your audience does not feel a part of the solution you may be in trouble. Just announcing tryouts on websites and sending emails is not enough. I just hope we dont lose alot of metro/gold players from the game as one board of director for basketball bc told “our biggest recruitment base for basketball once kids get in high school is soccer. The kids leaves soccer as they see a dead end or are burned out.” Though he acknowledged soccer was a great foundation sport for basketball.

    • scott says:

      “our biggest recruitment base for basketball once kids get in high school is soccer. The kids leaves soccer as they see a dead end or are burned out.” Though he acknowledged soccer was a great foundation sport for basketball.”

      • K says:

        ^funny, I tell kids basketball is a great foundation sport for soccer.

        “Burned out”? On the 2 practices a week and one game? Yes, because high school basketball is a far lesser commitment than that. I say, kids just don’t like the cold weather – and who can blame them!

      • rose says:

        K, I’m not sure if you’re being sarcastic or not but high school basketball is the most demanding high school sport, with 5 practices/week plus weekend games or tournaments. so these soccer players are probably looking for something new and challenging and coaches see the kids as super fit athletes…which competitive soccer players certainly are!

      • Gregor says:

        pretty sure he’s being sarcasatic

  27. Colin Elmes says:

    Here is a view through a different lens for all.

    If players chose not to attend TSS we dont get angry at them or devise ways to punish that choice. If we covet those players we sit down and figure out ways to improve our product to make it irresistable.

    The biggest failure here is a lack of understanding or respect for the business world of user pay soccer. The founding committee should have reached out to people who have been in this type of soccer world.

    Who has been dealing with this type of model for over a decade? Groups like Roman Tulis and TSS.

    A group like ours has been constantly having to improve our product as we have stood on the perimeter of a resistant establishment( which at times have acted in a way purely to attempt to destroy our business). Why not ask how we cope with this? I would have entered into a dialogue on this. No one asked.

  28. Colin Elmes says:

    K. I have spoken to some. Your reasons why they are not coaching that you said above are accurate. Busy making a living. Cost/benefit of them being involved not compelling enough. The HPL environment should have done their due diligience on this before it moved forward( like asking the soccer consumer if they would support such a move to an HPL format!). But of course this has all gone at light speed and due diligence was just a phrase that frankly was only sparingly used appropriately.

  29. Gregor says:

    Brendan Q just alerted me to the fact this site looks totally different (some would no doubt say way better and I’d probably agree even though I had no idea about this til 30 mins ago) on iPads and leaving comments can be problematic. I rarely use our iPad but this will serve as a test and also a chance to ask if anyone else is having troubles with the site using iPads.

    • X says:

      I’ve viewed with our I pad and yes it does mess with your layout.

      I generally lose the fight when trying to pry it from my daughters hands anyway so I don’t use it very often.

    • R says:

      I also had the same problem with the format on my iPad. I inadvertantly hit something and it went back to the standard lay-out and has stayed the same since so problem solved. I wish I could tell you what I did but I have no idea.

    • R says:

      Wouldn’t you know it but my iPad went back to that new format. If you look at the bottom of the screen it say ‘view standard’. Click on that and it goes back to the old format which I find much better.

  30. Colin Elmes says:

    I cant afford an i pad

    • Gregor says:

      every coach should have one. better than a tactics board. although I still don’t use it nearly as much as the others in the family. the potential for coaching apps is huge (any ipad app developers out there interested in partnering on something like this, let me know).

  31. X says:

    should get a gig coaching one of the new fancy HPL teams….make a little extra cake on the side.

  32. Colin Elmes says:

    I hear Fusion Pacific Premier pays well

  33. Left Right Out says:

    I was out watching U15 Boys South Fraser evaluations on Tuesday. There was 28 boys and 4 of them were keepers. Of the 24 boys there was 5 or 6 that looked like Tier 1 level players. The rest were Gold/ Silver calibre and even some house. Boys without shinpads on and one boy wearing skater shorts. I heard parents on the sidelines stating that in Surrey they were offering positions to U15 boys after 1 tryout just to secure them from other teams such as South Fraser. So if Surrey is already doing that it seems to me that they are concerned over the quality of the boys trying out.
    In Surrey at this age group there are 2 strong Metro teams and 3 very strong Gold teams. Where are all these kids trying out? if they are offering positions already to Delta Select players (middle table team).
    If this is any indicative of how it is going elsewhere than that tells me that a small percentage of the best players are wanting to play HPL next year and they will mostly end up on 4 or so franchises and franchises like South Fraser in this instance will house an HPL team made up of essentially Gold/ silver calibre players.
    Can you imagine as a parent paying that type of money to see your kid lose 10-15 nil all year?

    • southofthefraser says:

      Point 1: South Fraser certainly appears to be struggling at the U-15 boys age group but I’m sure every club has one age group where things aren’t going swimmingly; certainly not a reason to condemn what is going on at all levels of a BCPL franchise. Maybe a weak team but losing 15-0 is a bit of an extreme projection.
      Point 2: Surrey Selects/Surrey Youth/Central City Breakers Pegasus (whatever name applies now) are feeling the most slighted by the allocation of BCPL franchises and making the greatest effort to retain players at the tier 2 level. This undoubtedly has an impact on the number of quality players at evaluations in Surrey.
      Point 3: As for offering positions after one evaluation.., this has been occurring at most clubs this year and has been for years. You must remember any coach worth his salary should have a good handle on the players of distinction in the age group. These players have been through enough NTC scouting visits, provincial team trials etc. that every coach has had plenty of opportunity to attend and form opinions. These are generally the players that get offered positions immediately; no coach is trying to lock down their 17th and 18th player after one evaluation but you can bet any coach wants to know who his core players are before he builds a team around them.

      • Gregor says:

        I hear some coaches are even offering players that missed half the season due to injury a spot on their team without even having them out for a single tryout, never mind one 😉
        Granted, he was an NTC pick…

      • southofthefraser says:

        …well there will always be those clowns that don’t know what they’re doing

  34. m says:

    I cant believe i just sat here at my laptop (i cant afford an ipad either) and read this whole list… my eyes hurt, my head hurts and all i can say is WHAT A MESS!

    Clubs not producing teams in BCSPL!?
    Clubs having more than 1 in the league!?
    Skater shorts on players trying out for BCSPL teams!?

    I bet those who didnt get a franchise are laughing!!

  35. Left Right Out says:

    rumour has it that at U15 boys Surrey is going to have 2 teams now. The 2nd team will essentially be run by Pegasus. They didn’t get a franchise but have a team. That makes sense.

  36. Colin Elmes says:

    Maybe Sportstown FC and North Fraser can run a team too?

    Who is running this show?

  37. valleysoccer says:

    lets have an auction for various openings at age groups. What happens if the second teams are better?

    Colin gets all interior openings as tss is closer to the airport. Ipad and official tracksuit with HPL binder and pen

  38. MJ says:

    There were times that I thought that TSS was actually in the airport with all the planes. Then again, perhaps travel won’t be needed if the games can be played virtually using an EA app for your Ipad!

  39. Colin Elmes says:

    Coaching opportunity with IPad included. Now thats marketing…..

  40. X says:

    IHAP’s comment above

    “These coaches who want to keep their teams in Metro and offer an alternative are an interesting study. What motivates them? Is it for the good of their players? Are they “truly” being noble with their intentions? Are some of them paid coaches who have their own thing going? Would some of them “leap” at the chance if able to coach in the BCPL?

    What are the motives and agendas of all involved. I think many actually know the answer to this but skirt the issues at hand because their decisions to serve any initiative, BCPL, or Metro, is self-serving. Hey, no problem, but don’t pretend to represent something if you can’t support it by your actions or past actions.

    I know for a fact that some of these entities opposed to BCPL are using the “I don’t have any faith in the BCSA or CSA or Whitecaps to do the right thing” as an excuse to promote their own SELFISH agendas!!!!! Some of these agendas include keeping their teams together to support their leagues which operate the same time as BCPL, some to support the paycheque of their Metro coach who is also paid, and some to enjoy the free ride they have received to date.

    To those who enjoyed a great development program under their current Metro coach and now have that possibly taken away from them to ponder “unknown” enterprises, I understand. However, scrutinize a bit. Why hasn’t your coach entered the new structure? Most have been absorbed into the BCPL. Why hasn’t yours? Politics? I doubt it. That is always an excuse.

    I am by no means suggesting that there aren’t great coaches in the Tier 2 system that can continue to develop players. In fact, now more than ever, we need great Tier 2 coaches, but look at your SPECIFIC case and analyze accordingly. My opinion is that some of them are self-serving and ultimately not good for the advancement of the game.

    Funny how this process has revealed the true colours of some of the players in our soccer community. I know many are confused but in some ways, things have never BEEN SO CLEAR!!!!!”

    …well said IHAP, in regards particularly to certain groups / teams out there who have intentionally stifled or coerced their players from even looking at BCPL and not just in the past month but long before ( many will know of whom I speak ) you have hit the nail on the head IHAP and it is this fact that bothers me.

    In regards to recruiting the elite players from the teams of which you speak? BCPL never had a chance as those kids and parents were programmed long before not only that BCPL was the wrong choice but that if you made that choice you’d be going against the club. This is plain wrong.
    …and to be clear, as IHAP eluded to, it’s not so much that BCPL was / is the only way…no, it is more a question of WHY they were motivated to keep their players away and to see it fail.

    Note that I don’t mean to say that all were led away as sheep…many are far more in tune than I, but I am referring to the numbers that were.

    • K says:

      Which league runs same time as BCPL? Agree, T2 and T3 need quality coaches more than ever. The “best” u13’s will not ALL still be there at u18…heck, at u14! they won’t still all be there. The “lower” level kids need quality guidance to replace them. A funny trick pulled by a lot of coaches is talking about how “winning will help you achieve your goals.” Myself, nor any coach I’ve ever met, has asked an interesting player at tryouts “how many games did you win last year.” But kids and parents get duped into thinking University, Whitecaps etc have any idea what the league standings were in the recruiting class…

      Also, I will only coach if you not just give me an IPAD with the appropriately downloaded APP, but a carry case and somewhere to store it. My hands are already full carrying cones and pinnies! 🙂

    • Rasta says:

      Holy Mackerel X


      You are taking this a bit personally. It sounds like you have a personal issue with a particular coach rather than the system.

      So you’re thinking that all the coaches who would be willing to coach a Metro (Tier 2 or whatever you call it) are getting paid?????

      Any coach who would think to coach a Metro team with “BCPL’s players” (oops BCPL calibre players) are self-serving.

      And the best one for me…the few coaches left (because you know that ALL or MOST of the good ones have been “absorbed” into BCPL – Colin and Gregor you holdouts) who have not dashed to BCPL have some agenda or don’t know or need scrutiny.

      Hey you great coaches in Tier 2 give your head a shake…..according to X.

      X has found you out and he knows why you haven’t “LEAPT” to BCPL.

      • X says:

        Rasta, have another read,

        1) everything in quotes ” ” was commentary from IHAP in an earlier post. My comment is at the bottom.

        2) And while I agree with many of IHAP’s points, I think you are misinterpreting and misquoting him to a certain degree.

        You’ve replace his word ‘some’, with ‘ALL’….it changes his comment a bit.

        Anyway, have another read as I think you’ve misinterpreted some of the commentary there.

    • Rasta says:

      Hello “X”

      I stand corrected.

      It seems I should have been having a go at IHAP instead.

      Hey IHAP have a read of my comments to “X”. They are a more appropriate respond to your post.

      I think Sir Alex posted something for you (or someone like you) to read as well.

  41. Banjo-man says:

    Amazed at a few things….
    1) HPL was laid out as a tool for recruiting players into Caps, PTP, NTC, and hopefully national team opportunities. The season was laid out to fit with CSA recruiting/visit cycles in line with the rest of Canada, and the footie has to be better playing in 25 degrees sunshine rather than minus 3 with drizzle. And yet, the MSL/tier 2 coaches are keeping their players together to “win”. Something is ass backwards here; I’d surely pay more money for the path that is clear, rather than have my kid playing on a metro team in a few teir 2 tournaments, carrying a nice bag that gets nicely lined up before games, and with a coach who only cares if he goes 14-2 and wins instead of 8-8 but playing in front of Caps/CSA/university coaches. You can’t tell me the top universities, whether Canadian or not, are going to kill half a day watching a metro game to see little Susie superstar scoring 3 goals against sub-par opposition, when HPL has 10 little Susies per game. Better bang for the recruiting buck means HPL is the main path to the higher level as was laid out.
    2) That Colin goes on here posting about what a shambles HPL is, how is was doomed from the start, and yet he strongly promoted his application and wanted in. Would he still be on here slamming the process and such if he was one of those with an HPL spot? I heard from a parent at the field last night that TSS will be offering a “rival” type U18 program taking girls AWAY from HPL. How does that fit in with the path, or support overall pyramid programming? Wasn’t the point of TSS getting an HPL spot to be under the umbrella and ‘buying in’, but I don’t see that in Colin’s comments or this new U18 program?
    Off to compare ipad prices against my desire to continue using a 9 year old laptop that sometimes shuts off mid-sentence. 😦

    • Rasta says:

      So Banjo Man

      So the CAP, NTC, and College guys weren’t watching the players before.

      But they will be running to the BCPL now??? To find the kids that were there already?

      Oh by the way, I don’t think I’ve played a game in Minus 3. Oh yeah that time once 12 years ago.

      Or was that the Coastal Cup playoffs in April or the Provincial Championships in June or was that the Y-League in July or was that the Provincial Team in May to July.

      Were the Caps and College Coaches watching?

      Oh they couldn’t have been there because the BCPL wasn’t formed yet.

      • Banjo-man says:

        Missed the point Rasta. I’ve spoken with college coaches when my daughter was recruited, and none of them wanted to be standing at the side of the pitch in Dec/Jan…yes, they have scouted players before and I’m not saying they didn’t watch metro games in the past…all I’m saying is now that BCSPL is the path laid out for the top players, that’s where they’ll recruit from now so holding back a few star players in metro won’t do those players a lot of good other than maybe winning a tier 2 trophy. And if you haven’t played a game when it’s minus 3, you don’t live here. I’ve spoken to parents who had kids drop out at 11 or 12 years old because of the weather. This year I can remember watching at least 3 matches in Dec-Feb that were below 0. Not that players can’t develop in a winter season, but part of BCSPL is to lay out the most ideal environment for player development including time of year for weather and that ties into CSA scouting visits, and puts our best players now “in season” during the summer/fall leading into nationals.
        And no, the Caps were rarely watching metro before….only when they had to gather a list of possible players for prospects invites did they make a couple trips down from the mountain. But now that they will be tied in to BCSPL, the players up/down from Caps will go to/from BCSPL….not metro. I wish the metro coaches trying to keep their teams and best one or two players together would explain that to their players, rather than say “stay together and we’ll win that coveted xyz cup” which means nothing in the big picture.

    • K says:

      Eliminate league tables below u18 and see how many kids stay metro….my bet…..few to none as they all now know it’s about development and exposure, not winning.

      • Rasta says:

        Hello Banjo

        I don’t think I’ve missed the point (whichever point you mean but I will address them all)

        I think I’ve spoken with a college coach or two myself along the way. I didn’t know Scouts came out in December and January to watch games. And it seems you know them ALL because you’ve given me the sense that they’ve all told you when or where they will go to check out players – an inside scoop.

        It seems that the clarion has been blown to alert all the college coaches afar – north and south, east and west – about the HPL and now they will be beating a path across the hitherto unknown borders to watch – and they will make sure they ask first “Is this an HPL game”. Because that is only where the talent is going to spring up next year.

        You must think I have something against the HPL. If I had the time I would explain to you what I think about HPL but you’ve already got me pegged. Maybe I’ll give a bit of a hint below at the end of my short response to you.

        By the way Banjo I have coached here now for over 20 years and played here for longer and I can count on one hand over the last 10 years (maybe I’ll use my other hand to add 1 more finger) how many times we’ve played in minus 3 or 4 weather. The fields are closed when the weather gets that cold. But I won’t quibble on that point. I’ve got more to say.

        Holding, Tying down, handcuffing, blocking, a few ‘Star Metro players from playing HPL??? Do you really think Metro coaches can hold, tie down, block a ‘Star’ Metro player (and their parents no doubt) from choosing to play in the HPL if they want to. C’mon Banjo man. Do you coach? Tell me how a coach does that. I am very interested.

        I would explain to you why a player would choose to play with a very capable coach who has helped and coached them to be the ‘Star’ Metro player they are now and that is chosen by Provincial teams and wanted by HPL. (I should say ‘Star Players’ because Metro coaches have developed quite a few of these ‘Star’ players). I would explain that to you Banjo Man but you have already got us pegged…somehow you know!!!!

        So you think that the Metro coaches are holding players back for a tier 2 trophy. Well I bet a lot of the coaches who are deciding at this point to coach Metro have won many trophies at Tier 1 already. So you are again quite off base if you think that winning a trophy at Tier 2 is why a coach would coach at ‘Tier 2 – the new word to make sure that it is distinguished from HPL). I would explain why this coach would coach at HPL and/or Tier 2, but you got us pegged already so I won’t bother.

        Oh so you saying the weather is one of the reasons for forming the HPL – I sure hope the HPL board didn’t have that as one of their main reasons. I wonder, all the players that develop in Europe, when do they play their soccer???? ‘In the summer leading to the fall’ so that they can be seen by who? I may be mistaken but I think they play the same season as we do. But correct me if I’m wrong Banjo-Man.

        So now the weather will help develop players a league played in the summer will bring about better players – I think the great quality turf fields negate the weather thing. Oh by the way what a nice new turf field at Newton Athletic – like grass in the summer almost.

        How have the players, oh yeah the ‘Star’ players developed in the winter???
        And Nationals. Did you check out the results of the last Club Nationals? I believe BC won a few didn’t they? Those teams full of ‘Star’ players developed by those Metro coaches who played soccer through the balmy winter BC months. By the way have you checked out the weather of some of those National Championships in October – worse than a balmy BC rainy game on Sunday afternoon.

        And the Caps scouting players? Are you saying the Caps only came down from the mountain twice and scooped up some players and then headed back up to the mountains never to be seen again. Are you saying they rarely saw Metro games? I know some of those coaches. You are wrong there Banjo – you didn’t peg that one right (just like you didn’t peg the others above).

        I wonder how those CAP coaches were able to accurately pick the ‘Star’ players the Metro coaches had developed. Must have been good guessing. Hey any Cap coaches reading. Are you going to take that from Banjo? Oh by the way Banjo says you guys are now tied to the BCPL. So no looking elsewhere allowed now huh? Certainly not at the ‘Star’ players who might be in Metro – oops I mean Tier 2.

        Hey you Metro – darn I mean Tier 2 Coaches. Make sure you aren’t promising any XYZ Cups to your ‘Star’ players now. They and their parents can be quite easily duped into thinking that the path is now open for them to win the XYZ Cups to add to the old Metro Tier 1 Cups (and medals) that you have already won. Tier 2 parents be on guard against the Tier 2 Coach with the ulterior motives.

        Again I would explain to you Banjo Man why a few ‘Star’ players and their parents have decided after much discussion to play at Me… c’mon Rasta, Tier 2. But He has you all pegged already so you probably shouldn’t bother. He knows the big picture and you don’t.

        Hey Banjo man when you have a chance, go for coffee with one of those Tier 2 (got it this time) coaches and ask them why. Ask a parent why they would choose the lower Tier. Go find a ‘Star’ player and ask them why they would play with a non-Tier 1 coach. When you do Banjo Man come on back and let’s hear what you have to say. Make sure if you do chat with one of them that you tell it properly when you post.

        By the way Banjo Man, for the record, I think the HPL, BCPL BCSPL, EABCSPL or Tier 1 League is a good idea. Just too many teams too soon. Not enough input from parents and especially the old Tier 1 (now Tier 2) Metro coaches who could have helped make a sound idea get off on a much better foot (or cleat).

        So there Banjo Man.

  42. Colin Elmes says:

    I love you Banjo Man, whoever you are. Debate is good. I told Gregor the other day to blog our U18 offering. Gave him all the details. I am sure he will do it now.

    The reality is Sportstown FC was never getting in. HPL founding committee orchestrated the political roll out from their side, Sportstown FC(and TSS) created a PR platform for our programming. If we did get in on the off chance, we would have assisted by nature of our structure to enhance the format(coaching staff, facility, cost for ENTIRE first season $1800, would have reached out to soccer consumer in more efficient ways etc) and enjoyed being involved in the “path”? but it was never going to happen.

    Banjo man- why would I buy in when I am not in? Got a business to run, customers to keep happy(which includes the U18 girls that btw we are running on a cost recovery basis only- kind of like Prospects). Full time staff to pay, long term part time staff to keep involved in the game, mortgage, overhead. A business.

    And you should see the written feedback(and verbal) that we received from BCSA et al on our proposal. Guessing you are one to quickly call a spade a spade I would expect that you might react in similar fashion if you were in my soccer shoes.

    • Coachrich says:


      Any chance of the BCSA written feedback getting posted if the BCSA did get Sportstown/TSS to sign a NDA? I sure it would be an interesting read and worth the BCSA side getting out in public.


      Anyone check out the latest at VFC for coaches –

      “Our Metro-Select teams will be coached by a combination of qualified and experienced volunteer and professional coaches. Our professional coaches, who will also be coaching Fusion FC BCPL Teams, will run one training session per week during season and additional sessions during breaks in the BCPL season. Having our coaches cross-over will maximize opportunities for MSL players to move into the first tier. Our professional coaches will also be developing players in the VFC Academy. The cost for full-time professional coaching will be approximately $100 per player per month and part-time coaching $50 per player per month.”

    • Sir Alex says:

      Interesting debate here.
      I’m one of those coaches who is offering a Metro “option” to players. I was on and off the fence about a dozen times when it came to applying for one of the BCPL coaching jobs.
      It really was this forum that made take pause and scuttled my plan to apply for the BCPL gig.
      Banjo man, your assessment is about as twisted and skewed as you can get. You and all the other Type “A” – my kid first mentality parents are who I couldn’t, and won’t deal with. Go for it though. I applaud you. Your clear path to national team opportunities is now laid out before you and should be easier because there are a group of little Susies who are choosing Metro and they won’t be in your way. The pathway to world soccer domination for your little Susie is even easier.
      And before you accuse me of recruiting and undermining BCPL, let me tell you that all of the parents and players who began approaching me about a month ago, never intended to participate in BCPL.
      I’ll put my money on TSS, because they need to respond to customers and they need to be customer focused because they are a business. Somehow the closed door, “i’ll scratch your back, if you scratch mine” that was the genesis for HPL through BCSA smacks a little of the communist philosophy, and we all know what happened to the Eastern Bloc.

      до свидания (dasveedAnja) comrades!

      • Coachrich says:

        Well stated Sir Alex and I know where you are coming from.

        Far too many forget the kids and their parents are the members who understand they are also the real consumers. Sadly much of the soccer community see our paying members as some sort of chattel or profit stream rather than opportunities to coach love and development of sport plus be mentors in life.

        tand part about all this is like the CSA the BCSA is a monopoly

      • Rasta says:

        Oh I get it now.

        Maybe it was you Sir Alex that ‘X’ was spewing off about.

        I thought it sounded kind of personal rather than a well thought out comment from him.

      • K says:

        I think it’s spelled Dovidjenja. Just to nitpick ya.

  43. valleysoccer says:

    Unfortunately it is the mindset of people like banjo man who dictate the governance of youth soccer in this province. A dictatorial decision making process, rather than consensus building; retribution and intimidation rather than outreach and ability to listen; old boys club vs transition within heirarchy; and most of all an outrageous, patronizing attitude towards those who “may” differ from anything other than complete acceptance of their decision making. Gentlemen, this prevailing attitude is what is destroying any progress of youth soccer you fondly portray as caring. The average parent or coach without connections has no opportunity to be a voice for change. Because many of you feel you are not accountable to the public and only accountable to your districts or club executives that vote you in. Your decision making process frequently lacks any foresight for the thoughts, feelings, or attitudes of the public as it is always passed onto districts, clubs, coaches and players without ever any consultation. All everyone ever hears at the grassroots levels are decisions after the fact.
    Banjo man, I am also one of those metro coaches you are accusing of only being consumed with wins/losses. I have coached select soccer for over 12 years and am proud to help develop over thirty Provincial and NTC players many of whom started playing with me in mini soccer. Banjo man, I was never a golden boy or given a silver spoon like other coaches who are receiving HPL appointments without demonstrating any record of development or excellence in coaching. If the HPL was such an historic and important concept, then why didnt all of the franchises safeguard the HPL’s reputation by hiring the most competent coaches, irrespective of which club they were affiliated with. Why didn’t each of the franchises understand part of the obligation at the outset was to visit or meet with other club coaches, academies, and non club parents to convince them of the HPL concept? Normally with the introduction of a new product such as the HPL, there is a business plan for each of your operators (franchises) and especially a 60 day plan of marketing and outreach, did this occur? Further, if a new product is unveiling 8 new franchises, there is someone at the business corporate office to deal with this expansion and answer questions etc. Did BC Soccer appoint any front office senior manager or staff coach specifically overseeing this entity, which should have occurred for minimum 12 months. In the “real world” this would occur if this expansion was a real priority, as this daily governance and monitoring by BC Soccer would provide assurance and proactively deal with issues (poor coaching appointments, or lack of tryout attendance etc) prior to them occurring.

    Referring to your general accusation towards all metro coaches, I am coaching metro this season because my daughter is not an HPL player and every one of our players at under 12 select were given the opportunity to leave for HPL. However, all of the parents felt we already run a HPL type of program, which include intense training session, travel to the USA 3-4 times a year, speed/agility, at a fraction of the cost. Further Banjo man, I have had the privilege of coaching at several NCAA soccer camps for the past 10 years and can assure you many of the best american players are given the freedom for participate at a second tier or compete in a second sport at a high level. In short, just because a player chooses to play metro or select two should prohibit their opportunity ODP or any other top academy. Their state organizations recognize the contributions of ALL sections of youth soccer and value each and every coach and club at every level. In the USA , there are NOT monopolies like we have in the our provincial club system, and a new club with a proper business plan, financial investment and player development philsophy are allowed to open up without the constitutional restrictions we have here. Try to open a new youth in the lower mainland, and you will quickly find the door shut or slammed on you. These wing it, all of the sudden ideas in our province are never thought out or even accountable to any 3rd party or even discussed with youth coaches or parents PRIOR to any proposed plan or change of direction. All the consumer receives are the ultimatum’s to participate in this idea and any constructive feedback or questions are immediately given a bully type attitude. Don’t you think prior to even commencing such an overhaul, a survey should have been conducted with all present provincial, metro players and coaches on their satisfaction and their constructive suggestions/feedback be tabled for discussion. When you have consultation, you have trust and respect, and when you have feedback from your consumer and employees (coaches) it provides the basis/foundation for creating change. This is called due process and outreach, something foreign in BC Soccer

    The biggest problem in our province is firstly our provincial team program, it simply stinks and has been unsuccesful for the past 10 years. It reeks with complete arrogance and any humbleness to work with select coaches or parents. Too often, select coaches are not even communicated with or shown the proper courtesy towards programining. Change should first occur at the governing office prior to proceeding with such a drastic step in league overhaul.
    Banjo Man, you seem so concernced and articulate on the HPL vision, may I ask you one question as you are so concerned with the development of youth soccer. If you do not have competent coaches at metro, where the heck are you going to develop your next 30-50 hpl players for each age group and gender? Also many of our top metro players compete in other sports at a very high level, and this HPL is simply weeding out those types of dual sport athletes which is short sighted.
    Further, if in year one many players are reluctant to join HPL due to having some reservations, why is there so much panic and personal remarks towards those who have a wait and see attitude. I would think a more professional approach would be to respect these people’s decisions and hopefully keep in communication with them in a respectful dialogue. After all the HPL is a business product and requires 50-100 new players for the current format to proper.
    Colin, is right in that like a TSS, your business is constantly flexible, listening/learning, and changing for the better. However, when is the last time our power brokers in youth soccer reached out unless they needed something.

      • K says:

        BCPL isn’t weeding our dual sport athletes any more than any of the other spring-to-fall soccer leagues across the country. That argument is moot. Is there an uproar in Kelowna that soccer is spring-to-fall and 3 days of training a week? What about Winnipeg? Thunder Bay? Moncton?

  44. scott says:

    The system and structure for soccer in B.C. does need to be improved. So does the attitude of competitive coaches. Currently it goes a little something like this: I want to coach the best players. They are coordinated, fast, aggressive and work hard. They can follow instructions and as a team can win games.(Which is fun and enjoyable). I want to identify these kids at a fairly young age and get a core group that can play together and become a strong winning team. The kids who are not as good I will leave to be coached by untrained unqualified parents. I won’t ever check in on those players and see how they progress because I’m busy and honestly don’t care. If some of my players aren’t up to snuff and I need to cut them in a year or two, I will look around to other clubs and districts to see if I can entice some of their top players over to my team. I’m all about player development.

    • Rasta says:

      Hey Scott

      You may not have looked at your point from the other side.

      I’ve coached Metro for a while. Try having to do what you suggest and make connections with the Gold team.

      The Gold Team coach quickly convinces his players that they should not associate with the big bad Metro team. So the players, and sadly parents, build up a wall and decide not to interact with the Metro players.

      I know many Metro coaches – me included, take pleasure in developing players. Particularly ones who weren’t the best to start and who with work develop into great players. It is the most satisfaction I’ve received from coaching.

      • scott says:

        Rasta , I sympathize. I see the problem all the way down to bronze/silver division. Teams are picked based on tryout performances and so kids that are judged to be just below a level are left with limited coaching and are not monitored to see how they perform in games. I was just doing evaluations, and it was obvious who had some speed and footskills. But you wonder about kids who have good soccer i.q. but lack in certain technical areas. Do they have good positioning and movement without the ball? How is their work ethic and attitude? You need to see them play competitive games and communicate with their coaches to really know. And who has time to scout them when your busy training and coaching games with your own team? And as you say some coaches don’t really want to “lose” their stronger players. I don’t really know the answer, but when you look at the overall numbers of players and the number of paid coaches it seems we would be better served putting some more paid coaches to work with the silver and gold levels, so that more players are being pushed up to the higher levels.

      • Rasta says:

        Good points Scott

        I certainly would have relished the opportunity to work with levels below. It would have been good to have Gold players work more with our Metro team but…..

        Great idea that more paid coaches should be working with the Gold/Silver layers and their coaches. That would certainly have developed more players who over time could have/would have/will be good Metro players.

        Good points Scott.

      • K says:

        Rasta, there is no reason the Gold players in your club could not have just joined your metro boys for training twice a week, and then trained individually the third day. Or maybe once a week if the Gold team only trained once. This is the same for every club….but does it happen? No. I am aware of some u11 groups that train together and then form teams on Saturdays. I do know one club is starting to change that. The best can’t move forward if the base is not also moving forward with them.

        Next year I am coaching u12 Gold, and I require the u12 Silver to join for training 3 times a week. Can’t assume all the gold players will still be around for u13, and can’t assume they’ll still be your “best” when u13 comes around. The teams will mix and match for exhibition and tournaments – they also become friends and now go to birthday parties together…which is the part they’ll remember!

      • scott says:

        K, at some clubs they have no relationship with metro program at all. So that is a structural problem. Combine that with the personal ego problems of some coaches and you have a crappy situation for moving kids forward. I like what you say about mixing the silver kids in with the gold for training, nice job. That is something every club should do to some degree.

      • valleysoccer says:

        If you want to talk about club tryouts here is some recents news about fellow coaches 1) under 13 metro girls tryouts and another club’s metro coach makes a big presence standing at the fence watching 3 of his players who voluntarily attended our tryout. Then he confronts one of the mothers in the parking lot as to her reasons for attending. One of his players confirms via an email she is selected by our club, and communicates to this other club. The mother does not speak english well so the 3 coaches put enourmous pressure on a 12 year old who was never selected by these Select A coaches in the past. 12 hours late a confused player reneges her confirmation. Why would another select coach attend another club’s tryouts in such a public fashion or if he wanted to watch why not discreetly sit in the car? Is this not intimidation?
        2) Yesterday at our metro under 15 tryout a gold coach taking his players to another club stands in the walkway to the field and prohibits any of his players from trying out at metro. The kids come to the tryout voluntarily as per the club website, but these adults dressed up as coaches stop them and their parents 50 yards from the field.

        In both cases the actions of these coaches did not negatively effect the quality of our metro teams but it speaks to the sheer desperation going on.

  45. Valleysoccer says:

    please understand though you have developed players as a metro coach you are now seen as self serving and only considered with winning. You see we have added another layer of bureaucracy called hpl and we create the rules and we can send out threatening emails to your youth players to “tow the line” or else. But though you maybe a better development coach I must apologize as the hiring process contradicts the principles of the new league. You see I got to reward my club buddies as now we have the franchise and you sucker are going to lose your players.
    And how about elections for the hpl directors?Oh no, please understand that can’t be discussed and tonight there will be a motion passed that only the 8 franchises can vote. So how about governance and transparency? Oh, aah we govern ourselves and your asking too
    many silly questions. And if things get tough we just appoint a national coach or some other big wig who just “rubber stamps our thoughts”
    Wow what a pathway sir and I think were on our way to the world cup!! Yeh but if you could just quietly help us out get more numbers to some tryouts as the public is getting restless. Maybe then I will appoint you to a committee (wink wink) yes sir and on we go to the next pathway

    • K says:

      Someone above went on and on about how great the American system is. You don’t want to open that particular door for discussion. They have just as many, if not more, issues than we do (such as placing “D” level teams with “A” level teams in cups and losing 18-0….). Don’t go championing an extremely complex and VERY DIFFERENT system than in Canada.

    • Banjo-man says:

      VS, have you ever tried to change things? Not just coach in various clubs over the years…and if you are who I think you are, your floating between clubs is usually because of your strong will to fight against things instead of stand up and work together to change them. Have you become a club prez, run for a district chair position, or stood up at a BCSA AGM and put your name forward to create change? I see on the BCSA site they are looking for new directors, are you going to stand up and fight there or just throw rocks from the burbs?
      Again, if you are who I think you are, your “resume” is based on conflicts off the field and “winning” on it. Have you fought to get your best 2 or 3 players placed at a higher level for their development every year, or do you fight to keep the best players together at a lower level to win? Any coach can throw a speed ladder on the field, take his team to the Baker Blast and win 7-0 against gold teams, and convince themselves they are developing players….but are they?
      Yes, BCSPL has some problems and it was rushed through which is causing lots of issues right away….but getting rid of districts, professionalizing the league, and creating ties to the next level (Caps/CSA) has to be better than what has existed for as long as I can remember.
      If you truly believe in change and not just throwing rocks at those in charge, I will vote for you when you throw your name out for a BCSA position in June.

      • Valleysoccer says:

        Banjo man

        First of all I take great pride in developing players and have never been provided an all star team on a platter like yourself. Further, your personal slander towards myself is the old school attempts to discredit anyone who speaks up and doesn’t kiss ….. You maybe aware of the cry many years ago to bring attention and accountability to one of the pioneer clubs in the valley which was always ignored by the powerbrokers and a district which had no consistency regarding discipline decisions or transparency. Well for years we were labelled high maintainence for speaking and now change has been forced upon the club and surrey
        metro. Regarding the club it was
        basically run into the ground and now has a new management team and went from 4000 players to it’s present status of 1000 . Banjo man did you
        or others care about the abuse of power or how this club was financially
        Run into the ground? No not even a whisper. As of this moment there are resignations being submitted with this club and their district Official because
        People finally stood up to this entiltlement. Regarding your remarks of my teams, well we just added 3 under 12 select b players to our roster and now are playing under 14/15 spring leaque as it will enhance their players decelopment. Having 5 different teams in the coastal cup final or provincial cup takes more than a speed ladder or tracksuits.
        Regarding being apart of change the chair of the hpl has consistently soliticited my opinion and I have been consistent. This is why myself and colin elmes were asked to be a part of a new hpl committee from members of the public. I have always helped various clubs without the need for an executive title when they have required assistance at city hall. This also includes volunteering with bob favelle and Roger barnes on a facilites committee for bc soccer and meeting with various cities on the need for a 20-30 acre center of excellence.
        I have always been consistentbof the need for bc soccer board to be
        reflective of it’s membership diversity but creating change or changing the mindset is difficult.
        I have served on many boards to create positive change and just finished working in a senior role at the world cup. Not bad for someone who never had it easy or given to me on a silver spoon
        Banjo man just because we have different views doesnt mean we don’t care about youth soccer

      • Valleysoccer says:

        Banjo man
        Just ask my former players how much i promote each of them to the highest level. Or ask Jessie Simons or Bart of how many players I sent to prospects. Or ask the former players if how many were sincerely assisted with my contacts in the NCAA . Just last week I arranged for a former player to travel to Colorado to train with the top academies. Free of course, and for the love of the game. Last year I took another former player of mine who plays on the provincial team to duke womens camp to provide her exposure.

      • Colin Elmes says:

        Banjo man, your identity is becoming that much more clear as you post on this blog…..

        For the record, I have not had any formal request from BC Soccer to join any committee regarding HPL. It was brought up informally at the end of our feedback session. I have asked for a written description of the objectives of such a role. That was almost 1 month ago. Received nothing since. Heck, I cant even get Steve Allen to respond to me anymore……

      • Rasta says:

        Hey Colin

        Who is Banjo Man.

        I’m curious now!!!

      • K says:

        What did the Baker Blast ever do to you!? 🙂

      • K says:

        Valley – I wish I had your connections for these kids (Colorado…Duke)…..you should be sharing these links with the entire region? Maybe you do.

      • valleysoccer says:

        banjo man

        actually come to think of it, I have always coached at the highest level (metro/select), so what do you mean your comments of holding players back? Where is the precedence for such a statement? Please advice as you seem very knowledgable and experienced. I have never coached house or silver in 15 years, and only coached gold at under 13 as up until this year, it was considered the equilavent of metro.
        I guess because I want to step back and enjoy coaching my daughters at metro, which I thought would be a real assest as to developing new HPL players you would appreciate such. After all we are volunteering like the old way. No track suits, business cards, free phones or dinners, or ipads.

        Just like in the past trying to put teams together the hard way, without any all stars. But I appreciate your Las Vegas odds on how successful we will be, as I have let the players know a senior bc soccer rep is forecasting a good season. I’m sure a suspension or investigation is making its way to my doorstep soon.

  46. X says:

    One positive that can or should be taken from all of this is that it has clearly raised the concern over youth soccer in our region or if not raised the concern, it has certainly brought the subject MORE to everyones attention.
    It’s brought laymen / parents ( like me ), coaches, TD’s and other members of the soccer community out of the woodwork in seemingly great numbers to express their opinions and concerns together. Some are expressing themselves on this forum and others but far more I’m sure are doing so at field side, talking to their own respective coaches etc.
    I’m sure those of you who are in positions of authority at whatever level in the game are being asked questions and receiving emails from parents like never before?

    The fact that many people are showing they care so much has to be a good thing regardless of which side of the fence you’re on.

    The next step from here should be that people in the decision making chairs take notice and while the interest is still so strong, use the opportunity to raise further real discussion and make things the best that they can be.

    We can all talk all day long ( and we sometimes do ) about our opinions in this forum but it needs to be harnessed and utilized by those in the positions to do so.

    • Rasta says:

      Good points “X”

      I made sure to read through twice to make sure they weren’t IHAP’s comments 🙂

    • valleysoccer says:

      Banjo Man
      I was actually surprised with the Baker Blast comment and had to re think about this accusation. Yesterday, I asked my former manager on what this about and reminded as per provincial team rules, we didnt’t get our provincial and y league players released for the 2007 ? provincial A Cup at U-14 until 9 days before. So the only opportunity we had to schedule games and prepare our squad (as we had picked up a gold player) was to enter in Baker Blast. Further, we entered in the highest level at our age group, as our sole focus was to prepare for the Provincial Cup as it was a national year.

      Unbelievable Banjo Man, you take a result where a gold team knowingly entered into the Select Division of an american tournament and we try everything to keep the score reasonable and even sat our 4 of our provincial players for the entire second half. But once again let’s throw dirt at someone and see if it sticks, as how dare he speak up against our HPL. Come to think of it Banjo Man, I don’t even think we picked up our medals as our priority was the provincial A cup !!!!!
      If this was about results banjo man, why have all of my teams travelled to washington during the spring for the past 5 years and only played exhibition games with the top select teams or played a year up? Want to know the results banjo man? Well, our under 13 girls select team which finished last year as Coastal A Cup finalists started out as an average group at tryouts. Yet their spring program consisted of playing the Whitecaps Prospects, Whatcom Selects, Eastside FC, NW Nationals and a trip to Northern California which we played state ranked teams from Sonoma FC, Santa Rosa Utd and Bay Oaks. In the entire spring out of 15 or so games we won three? In California, we lost 6-1 , 5-2, and 4-1, but the rewards were this exposure was the dramatic progress of each player and her development. We had a one year plan, which was challenging for the players at first but by the end of the year these players had significantly improved and 10 out of 12 were identified by the provincial coach. Our program, like many other select coaches, was organized by dedicating hours and hours research, emails and phone calls in the interest of the players. As head coach I “put money into the program rather than some big budget salary” as I guess it was about my ego!!! I am sure there are many more metro/gold coaches with similar stories who passionately volunteer their time to youth soccer and put together top notch progams. Yet banjo man cannot appreciate or respect their contributions to the “pathway” or even value their sincerity.
      Is it because some of us are not the “golden boys” or part of established cliques in certain clubs as all star teams are always given to them. Or is it just convenient to put negative labels on individuals who on their own, think outside the box and somehow succeed consistently.
      Banjo Man, like the HPL tryouts, it is the public who has the final vote on whether they support us metro coaches, which is very troubling to you.

  47. JLarkins says:

    X- bang on.

    If premier level football followed one opinion Stoke and Arsenal could not be in the same league – even temporarily. Time to respect there are differing views, differing providers, differing perspectives and build a grassroots system that can facilitate the best of each.

    Instead of defending (sometimes poor) decisions already made, undermining at least an attempt at change, or waiting for yet another incarnation of a league to perhaps fail the powers that be (presumably at BC Soccer in consultation with the Caps) could turn some attention to some critical thought as to how grassroots soccer itself is set up and how each part fits (or should fit) with the other.

    From my reading, we have people of all levels of participation commenting here from the coast to the valley and from north to south and, at times, it appears the same problems and frustrations occur again and again. Gregor posts a cute Youtube video and gets a handful of comments, uses the word HPL in the headline and it gets 100s. Obviously a lot of attention on youth soccer generally but for something which involves so few of the actual players we deal with – but seems to be having an effect on far too many – the discussion could certainly be broadened beyond HPL in an effort of benefiting as many youth players as possible.

    For those who say districts and clubs will stiffle change – BC Soccer seemed to insert an entire league on the pyramid – if they listen to the community (and provide a forum to do it) and build a general consensus at least through out the lower mainland to start that makes sense, I am not too sure they will have much of a problem. Doing that now may take advantage of the focus brought by BCSPL – and I would venture to guess may benefit BCSPL going forward as parents and kids start to understand exactly why its there, what it offers and why it may be beneficial.

  48. Rasta says:

    Uh Oh!!!!

  49. indentity says:

    i think that gold metro is like gold now and gold is like silver shouldnt they eliminate silver.

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