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Powell River Youth Soccer team a special group, says coach

Dedication and hard work lead to U12 winning streak

Competitive soccer season for the Powell River Youth Soccer Association U12 rep team started in September, and the tight-knit team has been going strong ever since. 

“We have played 10 games so far, and they haven't lost one yet,” said head coach Andrew Messner. “This is the group's first experience playing competitively.”

Most of the players are 11 years old, and prior to joining the competitive team, younger players practiced skill development and played in fun tournaments. Messner has worked with this particular group since they were six/seven years old. 

“This is a very special group of kids we have,” said Messner. “They are very driven, hardworking, dedicated, and they have put in a lot of time and effort to get to this point of their soccer careers, and they are thriving.”

Powell River Youth Soccer Association plays under the Upper Island Soccer Association and every second Sunday the local U12 team travels to Vancouver Island to compete. 

“This is their first taste of actual competition, and we are playing all of the [Vancouver Island] teams, including Nanaimo, Courtney, Campbell River and Comox,” said Messner.

Messner said he knows he is a tough coach and wants to drive the team forward.

“I have high expectations of them, but only because I know they are capable of it,” said Messner. “What has helped with this group is that the parents are supportive.”

Messner admits he can be a bit aggressive, but at the same time he makes sure everyone is having fun. Assistant coach Colin Kernohan said what makes this team unique is the dedication to the game and a positive attitude.

“The only reason a player is away is if they are sick or injured,” said Kernohan. “I find that they have a great work ethic and drive.”

The team practices twice a week with a house session on Saturdays, which players are encouraged to attend, with their rep games on Sundays.  

“They put in the work,” added Kernohan. “We have played in the worst weather conditions and nobody complains. Even after 1.5 hours they still want to keep going.”

The soccer season goes until March and the team will be travelling back and forth via ferry for games. The two coaches said travelling wouldn’t be possible without all the volunteers, parents and community support.

“This whole group is really into soccer,” said Messner. “They have been playing together for over four years now, so that helps.”

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