Changes afoot as Chilliwack FC adds new programs

Chilliwack FC is offering a spring prospects league and has plans for a new futsal program in early 2013.

From the outside looking in, it’s easy to wonder whether Chilliwack FC head coach Glenn Wilson gets any sleep at all.

One can picture him awake in the wee hours of the morning, plotting, scheming — dreaming up new ways to make Chilliwack FC more competitive.

The local youth soccer organization rarely stands still, always introducing some new academy or developmental program.

As the ever-popular spring soccer program started last Monday night at Fairfield Island, Wilson had more new stuff on his mind.

“We’re continuing to build new programs and expand existing programs,” Wilson said. “For this spring, we’re part of a new prospects league.”

Chilliwack FC is hooking up with Langley, Aldergrove and Abbotsford to offer a competitive alternative to the typically low-key no-one-keeps-score atmosphere of spring soccer.

“We’re taking some of the seven to 10 year olds out of the rec program and putting them into a program that is more development oriented,” Wilson explained. “We want to start building skills at a younger age, and this is a new opportunity for players who want to branch into that development pathway.”

The program will see players training twice weekly and playing in five tournaments between now and the end of June.

“Training sessions are where they do most of their learning,” Wilson elaborated. “So we have to make sure the training to game ratio is more in favour of training. We think this is going to be very successful.”

If all works as expected, Wilson expects to run the same program in the fall, leading up to the next new addition to the Chilliwack FC lineup, indoor futsal.

A game nearly perfected by the Brazillians, futsal uses a ball that doesn’t bounce, forcing players to rely on passing and footwork rather than simply booming the ball around the pitch.

“The dead-bounce ball encourages players to improve their footwork and technique,” Wilson said. “They start to develop good techniques with that ball, and it shows when they transition to the livlier ball outdoors.”

A venue has yet to be determined, but Chilliwack FC is working with the city to find a suitable spot.

The futsal program will debut after Christmas.

Chilliwack FC’s tournament program starts its second year, taking players to three tourneys south of the border.

The results (more losses than wins) weren’t there last year, but Wilson sees a talented group in the program this year, providing hope that Chilliwack will be well represented.

Get more info on local soccer programs at chilliwackfc.com.