Sports

Albion FC association sanctioned by BC Soccer

There will again be two soccer clubs in the Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows area.

Albion FC was informed on Tuesday that the new club had been given the green light by B.C. Soccer.

“We’re now a club,” said president Mike Smith. “It’s absolutely brilliant.”

After a long campaign to get the club recognized, he had been planning a solemn meeting with supporters on Tuesday, and was about to tell them to register their kids with another soccer association. Then, while he was driving home from work, he got the fateful email from B.C. Soccer.

“The good news is, we’ve got a club,” he announced to them.

The crowd broke out in applause, then reached for cell phones en masse to pass the good news along.

After two years with an amalgamated West Coast Auto Group FC, the Albion FC group attempted to splinter away. They were initially thwarted by the governing regional body, the Alouette District. Smith and his group appealed to B.C. Soccer, and the sport’s governing body overturned Alouette’s decision, saying the new group had met all the requirements to start its own “FC.”

Now the group is scrambling. It has 250 members, but Smith noted that registrations are coming “fast and furious.”

He said a conservative estimate would be that the fledgeling organization will start its new season with 500 to 600 players.

“We’re going to give the kids who register the best experience we can, and then grow from there,” said Smith.

The new club will have two main points of emphasis.

“We’re very focussed on grassroots soccer development,” he said.

That means they want to accommodate the player who just wants to play for fun, and also the talented player who would like to make selects teams.

Secondly, the club wants to promote soccer for life, as a way of building community and personal relationships.

Smith said nobody will draw a salary at the club this year, and in future years the number of people being paid will be kept to the minimum.

“It will be a volunteer organization, run by parents who care,” he pledged.

“And we’ll get the best deals we can for the products we have to buy.”

The club is currently registering players, and preparing for a field allocation meeting with Parks and Rec, which is coming up by June 25.

Anyone interested in the new club can see their website albionfc.ca.

 

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