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Powell River Villa suffers setbacks

First half of season disappointing for soccer club

With only one game remaining in the first half of the season for Powell River Villa soccer club, coach Mario Paul said, “It is what it is.”

The team has been languishing in seventh place in Vancouver Island Soccer League Division 2 standings for almost the entire first half of the season.

“We need to find a better way for the second half,” said Paul.

Sunday, November 27, on the road against Vantreights FC, one of the top teams in the division, Villa suffered a 4-0 blowout loss.

Going into its last game of the first half, Villa has one win, seven losses and two ties for five points. The team has scored seven goals and given up 20 against for a minus 13 differential.

According to Paul, Villa needs more players, and the players he has require time to heal from injuries and get through suspensions.

“That creates a difficult circumstance moving into the second half of the season,” he said.

In the match against Vantreights, Paul said multiple members of the club played through the entire game with injuries and, if that was not enough to compound the team’s difficulties, the one sub who the coach had to rotate through the injured players was injured himself.

Villa also lost captain Dean Thorsell to suspension for the Vantreights game. Thorsell will be back for Villa’s next game.

According to Paul, Nick Van’t Schip filled in for Thorsell and high school student Cullen Buholzer played again for Villa on a permit.

“Thankfully, he did,” said Paul, “otherwise we would have played shorthanded without him. He did a fantastic job, as usual.”

Paul said a couple of players have the capacity to step up their game and play a leadership role.

“I really need to lean on those guys coming into the second half,” he said.

Villa’s last game before the holiday break is slated for Saturday, December 10, at Westcastle United. Game time is 7:15 pm.