Surrey FC will join the BC Soccer Premier League (BCSPL) starting in September 2021, bringing high-level games and training to the club’s home turf at Newton Athletic Park.
The 37-year-old club is the lone B.C. recipient of five new National Youth Club licences announced by Canada Soccer on Wednesday (Sept. 30), paving the way for entry into the BCSPL.
In the fall of 2021, Surrey FC will field two B.C. Premier League teams involving 2009-born boys and girls, at the U13 level.
The club’s technical staff, board of directors and membership “have worked tirelessly to be able to host the highest youth level of play in the heart of Surrey-Newton,” according to a news release posted to the club’s website (surreyfc.com).
“BCSPL provides (Surrey FC) with another step for athletes and coaches with high-performance play and training.”
Club president Sim Sumra said the move will allow its players to be showcased in B.C.’s most competitive youth soccer league.
“Surrey FC is committed to creating the infrastructure and culture necessary to provide the best healthy, fun, and safe environment for all players,” Sumra said.
The 12-member BCSPL also includes Surrey United, based at Cloverdale Athletic Park. The league, operated in co-operation with BC Soccer and Canada Soccer, involves youth players in the U13-U18 age groups.
Founded in 1983, Surrey FC grew larger with the amalgamation of Central City Breakers and Surrey FC Pegasus youth soccer organizations last February.
Canada Soccer has cancelled the 2020 edition of the Toyota National Championships, which were scheduled to take place from Oct. 7 to 12. Looking ahead, Canada Soccer’s plan is for fields at Newton Athletic Park to see action during the 2021 national club competitions for men and women that fall, with Surrey FC as host.
Paul Bahia, Surrey FC’s technical director, said the club strives to be “player first” in all facets of its programming.
“We have proudly pushed numerous players and coaches up the pathway, and now are excited to have our players and coaches participate in the BCSPL at their home club,” Bahia said. “We will continue to develop, mentor, and provide a positive environment for players to reach their goals on and off the field.”
The BCSPL is designed “to support development for players coaches and referees, competing in 2 phases (spring and fall),” notes a post at bcsoccer.net. “Organizations wishing to join in this league must hold a Canada Soccer National Youth Club License and be approved entry by the BC Soccer Board of Directors.”
Yearly, the league plays a spring/summer season starting in late February and culminating in the Provincial Premier Cup in late June. The fall season, from September through November, is a round-robin League Cup competition.
Chris Cerroni, BC Soccer Director of Soccer Development, said “it is a testament to Surrey FC and all club personal that have worked tirelessly to obtain the CSA National Youth Club License. I am sure I speak for all BCSPL organizations in wishing them a warm welcome in joining the league and further supporting player development in British Columbia.”
Meantime, Surrey FC has also announced a new premier sponsor in Nutrazul Effervescent Vitamins, whose Canadian headquarters are in Surrey.