Wolf­pack al­ready get­ting set for 2019 sea­son

Woolwich Youth Soc­cer holds try­outs for its rep teams while the game is still fresh

The Woolwich Observer - - SPORTS - FAISAL ALI

WITH THE 2018 SEA­SON barely weeks be­hind them, and the weather just start­ing to turn, the Woolwich Youth Soc­cer Club (WYSC) lost no time gear­ing up for next year. The lo­cal soc­cer league is fin­ish­ing up the last of its try­outs this com­ing week­end, set­ting the stage early for next sum­mer’s com­pe­ti­tion.

Although WYSC is fill­ing its ros­ters ahead of time, the sea­son won’t truly kick-off for most teams un­til af­ter the new year.

“The try­outs that are hap­pen­ing right now are set­ting up teams for 2019,” said Bren­dan Lowther, vice-pres­i­dent of Woolwich Youth Soc­cer. “Most of the teams will take a break be­tween the end of try­outs and Jan­uary. A cou­ple of teams will con­tinue on, but most of them take a break un­til Jan­uary and then we start prac­tic­ing in­doors.”

The early try­outs – com­ing so soon af­ter the end of the pre­vi­ous sea­son – gives the kids a chance to com­pete for place­ments in the up­com­ing sea­son while still in “soc­cer mode,” said Lowther, while the win­ter break lets the kids try out new ac­tiv­i­ties and sports.

“We en­cour­age them, just like ev­ery­body else, we en­cour­age them to try dif­fer­ent sports and try dif­fer­ent things,” ex­plained Lowther. “We also rec­og­nize that this is a big hockey town, and most of those kids are play­ing hockey or some other kind of win­ter sport. And so we want them to con­tinue to do those things and not nec­es­sar­ily al­ways be year­round soc­cer.”

This year’s try­outs come af­ter a par­tic­u­larly strong 2018 sea­son for the Wolf­pack, with the stand­outs be­ing the U13 girls, who qual­i­fied for the On­tario Cup quar­ter-fi­nals in Au­gust be­fore fall­ing to the com­pe­ti­tion.

“Our U13 from last year, which will be U14 this year did re­ally well,” said club pres­i­dent An­drea Richards. “That team tends to prac­tice all win­ter, at least once a week to be pre­pared for the sum­mer sea­son. Not all teams do, but a lot of teams are be­com­ing more like that.”

This com­ing sea­son, the now-U14 team will be seek­ing to move up in the ranks, from the district level of com­pe­ti­tion to the re­gional level, at the South-West Re­gional Soc­cer As­so­ci­a­tion.

“That is a higher level of play, for sure. They will be trav­el­ling far­ther, like Wind­sor, Sar­nia, Lon­don,” said Richards. “Sort of the best of the best goes up to the re­gional di­vi­sion. So they’re hop­ing they will get into that so they will have even more com­pe­ti­tion.”

While try­outs are al­most over, there are still a few teams still seek­ing play­ers, said Lowther, with va­can­cies in the U9 boys, U10 girls, U14 boys and U15 boys teams. Those in­ter­ested in try­ing out for the teams are en­cour­aged the reach out to the Woolwich Wolf­pack.

While in­ter­est in the youth soc­cer league has re­mained fairly con­sis­tent this year, Richards notes there has been a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in the U9 boys.

“This year, we have had the big­gest in­ter­est we have right now is from the U9 boys. The U9s for next year,” said Richards. “We’ve never re­ally had two teams at one age level, and we are very close to hav­ing enough for two teams, which is im­pres­sive. So that age for sure is very into it, and we hope we can get two teams so that many more kids can play.”

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