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Powell River Villa to play exhibition match against League1 BC soccer club

TSS FC Rovers one of the founding teams of new high-performance league
Powell River Villa_Steve_Steele match_IMG_7637
FRIENDLY FOES: After the conclusion of the 2021/2022 Vancouver Island Soccer League regular season, Powell River Villa faced a squad featuring former players in a charity match [above] to fundraise for the local Salvation Army and food bank. The club is booked to play another friendly this weekend against one of BC’s new high-performance teams.

Powell River Villa will play an exhibition game on Saturday, April 23, against Vancouver’s TSS FC Rovers, one of the founding teams of the new League1 BC, which is designed to bridge the gap between amateur and high-performance soccer in the province.

“I reached out to one of my connections at TSS to see if they were interested in a friendly exhibition game before their season starts,” said Chris McDonough, Villa’s manager. “For them, they’re getting ready for their first season in a brand-new league, and for us, it’s a chance to keep active and test ourselves against a high-performance team.”

BC Soccer announced the formation of League1 BC in October 2021. The new league is intended to create a path between youth and professional soccer, and is part of BC Soccer’s Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) strategy. LTAD provides a pan-sport framework to create both high-performance athletes (the train to win stage) and athletes of all ages who are involved in the sport for fitness and enjoyment (the active for life stage).

League1 BC focuses on the penultimate high-performance stage (train to compete) with the seven founding men’s and women’s teams playing 12 regular-season games each starting in late May.

“I’m very excited for the inaugural season to get underway as it is a tremendous opportunity for clubs and players to compete and succeed in a standards-based environment,” stated Sian Bagshawe, League1 BC’s general manager, in a statement on the BC Soccer website. “League1 BC fills a very important gap in the player pathway within BC, and we look forward to fans and communities around the province to follow and support the players and clubs throughout the season.”

Villa finished its 2021/2022 Vancouver Island Soccer League campaign with a 2-0 win over Gorge FC at Timberlane Park on March 19. The players also saw game action on March 26 in a charity exhibition match against Stevie’s Steelers, a team comprised of former players from the region.

With many of Villa’s players still in high school or heading to university, McDonough sees the game against the Rovers as an opportunity to expose the younger team members to a different level of competition.

“Whenever we play against a team that’s at a higher calibre, we always come away with things to work on,” he said. “That builds up our club, and also prepares our young players to transition to university soccer. We know it will be a challenge, and we’re looking forward to seeing how we compete against the Rovers.”

The game will take place at King George Turf Field, 4100 No. 5 Road in Richmond. Kickoff will be at 2 pm. 

Villa will remain in VISL’s top tier, Division 1, when the 2022/2023 season starts in September.