International soccer group gives Abbott field highest nod
Former student heads men’s team
Arecently installed synthetic field at John Abbott College has received the highest status recommendation possible from the Federal International Football Association, the soccer association commonly known as FIFA.
During an official ceremony held Thursday, the English CEGEP was awarded the official FIFA certificate by the president of GTR Turf, the company that installed the almost $3 million synthetic turf that was inaugurated last August.
GTR Turf CEO Luc Rochon said the JAC’S Memorial Field was awarded FIFA’S highest status, a 2 Star recommendation, after passing a series of stringent laboratory and field tests. According to John Abbott, only twenty-one fields in Canada have received the elite rating.
New men’s coach
Meanwhile, Steve Shaw, head of JAC athletics programs, recently announced the college has also hired a new head coach for its men’s soccer team.
Simon Willeme, a former JAC student and soccer player, will replace former head coach Robert Baylis, who retired in November.
Willeme, who was selected to carry the Olympic torch for the Vancouver games, graduated from John Abbott and attended Concordia University. He has spent years coaching at the regional and school level.
“Simon brings with him a wealth of coaching experience at all levels and we are very excited to have him join our staff,” Shaw said, adding, “We are planning to put more emphasis and energy into our soccer programs as we enter into our second season playing on the brand new Memorial Field.”
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