The inaugural season of B.C.’s new premier soccer league has so far been a success, according to one of South Fraser Soccer Club’s technical directors.
“There’s been fantastic interest, and a great turnout at the games,” said Mark McQueen. “And our teams are doing very well so far, as well.”
The new premier league – which features both boys and girls teams from U13 to U18 age groups – was spawned earlier this year, with eight team from the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island and the Okanagan. The new loop was created to combine the province’s top young players in one league, eventually replaced the premier and metro divisions of the past.
The B.C. Premier Soccer League will play a spring schedule starting in 2012; the current season is something of a test run.
On the Peninsula, it’s also another step towards eventually combining the Peace Arch (boys) and Semiahmoo (girls) soccer clubs.
“The clubs are still working on officially merging, so this has been really good for us,” said McQueen, also the head coach at Semiahmoo Soccer.
The new league has been on the field for about a month, with many teams sitting at, or near, the top of the league table.
“We have three girls teams at the top of the league, and two or three boys teams who are close to the top, so that’s pretty good,” McQueen said. “Given that it’s just the first season, I think we’ve exceeded expectations.”
Fan and community interest has also been higher than club members expected, McQueen said, and the game presentation – including pre-game intros and other things – has given games a first-class feel.
“This is a quality of community football that hasn’t been seen here before, so it’s been very popular,” he said.
“It’s really taken on an professional, big-time atmosphere, and it’s only going to grow as we move forward.”
South Fraser teams play at a number of fields throughout the Semiamhoo Peninsula, Ladner and Twwassen, including at South Surrey Athletic Park.