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Victoria Highlanders fold League1 BC teams just as season approaches

League1 BC sold in December, Highlanders couldn’t reach agreeable terms with new owners
Defending League1 BC men’s champs the Victoria Highlanders are folding both men’s and women’s teams. The team was supposed to face runners up, Richmond’s TSS FC Rovers to open the league season. This was the scene from the two teams meeting last year. (Photo Courtesy Victoria Highlanders)

The Victoria Highlanders Football Club is folding its men’s and women’s League1 BC team.

“Despite our best efforts over the past 2-months we have been unable to reach an agreement with the new owners of League1 BC that would allow us to carry on the Victoria Highlanders and still maintain our mission of providing a volunteer driven, not-for-profit community team for women and men looking to take their next step in soccer,” says an announcement on the team’s website.

The Highlanders FC Vancouver Island Division 1 team will continue, as will the residency program that the team operates to develop young players and funnel them to the professional level.

Highlanders FC has fielded semi-professional teams in several leagues over its 16-year run, starting in the United Soccer League in 2008.

“We’ve been enthusiastic supporters of this level of soccer development since the Highlanders inception,” says the teams statement.

The team joined League1 BC after that league was founded in 2021. League1 BC was sold in December to the Canadian Soccer Business, joining League1 Ontario under that company’s stewardship.

“We are proud of the growth we have seen in League1 Ontario since 2019 and we are confident League1 BC will see similar success in the coming years,” said a statement at the time from Mark Noonan, CEO of Canadian Soccer Business.”

It appears from the team’s statements, that the new league owners and the team couldn’t come to financial terms that would work for the team.

The Highlanders men’s team topped the league last season and were scheduled to open the season hosting Richmond’s TSS FC Rovers, last year’s runner-up.

It appears the Highlanders departure will now scramble the league schedule.

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