Three minor soccer associations may soon obtain a national license under the club development center program of Canada Soccer. This would allow them to offer improved quality standards, but also to integrate the Premier ligue de soccer juvenile du Québec (PLSJQ), a new elite circuit.
The clubs of Lakeshore and LaSalle as well asPierrefonds Soccer Association are part of a group of 12 Quebec clubs that are still in the race. Canada Soccer is expected to announce those who will be certified in mid-December.
Candidates are judged according to 150 criteria relating in particular to infrastructure, administration, technical aspects and governance. Certification brings several advantages.
“For teams 13 and over, we would be required to have a doctor, a physical trainer, a goalkeeper coach, a video analyst, a head coach and a highly qualified assistant,” says the club’s technical director. LaSalle Soccer Player, Andrea Romanelli.
His organization made several changes in order to promote his candidacy. Its technical department has grown to 16 resource people and a general manager has been appointed.
“The club is less and less run by volunteers. We established a strategic plan and a technical plan. It helps us to be more efficient in terms of finances, marketing, governance, player development as well as coaches and educators, ”says Romanelli.
The approximately 160 clubs in Quebec could also apply for a provincial or regional license.
The club could give a chance to players aged 13 and over not only from LaSalle, but from any region of southwest Montreal to benefit from the presence of a club with a higher level of support.
In addition, the criteria required for clubs for young people between eight and 12 years include in particular that the coaches have a national license.
“In a regional club for example, it could practically be a volunteer parent who would give the training. With a national license, we would have paid and highly qualified educators to be able to provide a game development service to young people. This is the most important thing in the development of our young people, ”explains Mr. Romanelli.
As for the Lakeshore soccer club, which serves the cities of Beaconsfield, Kirkland, Baie-D’Urfé, Sainte-Anne de Bellevue and Senneville, we are delighted that players playing in not only competitive programs, but also recreational ones could have access to better programs.
“That’s the big bonus for us,” says Technical Director John Limniatis.
Mr. Romanelli hopes that a national certification from Canada Soccer could potentially allow his club to collaborate with American universities in the framework of partnership programs serving to recruit players.
It was not possible to speak with the Pierrefonds Soccer Association.
Soccer is the sport with the most participation, in addition to being considered the fastest growing in the country according to Canada Soccer. There are nearly 1,000,000 active participants registered in 1,200 clubs.
Number of clubs in Quebec that have applied to obtain a national license from Canada Soccer.