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As the last of the snow melts away, players and coaches are going to be thinking about getting out on the soccer fields – at least that’s what Woolwich Youth Soccer president Steve Lillico hopes for as the club gears up for another busy year.

A Woolwich player runs with the ball at one of last year’s summer tournaments in Elmira. [File Photo]
A Woolwich player runs with the ball at one of last year’s summer tournaments in Elmira. [File Photo]
“Our capacity for the fields that we had was overflowing. We’ve grown dramatically over the last five or six years and it continues to grow,” he said.

The Woolwich Wolf Pack acquired two new soccer fields in Bloomingdale behind the village’s baseball diamonds, to accommodate growing player demand, a small field for U12 teams and below, and a full-sized field. But the weather has kept players in some divisions away with less than seven weeks until the season start, Lillico said.

“We are still accepting registration at all age levels. Some of the younger divisions are filling up quickly but our older divisions, we could use more players. The older kids are always slower to register, but we need to get some numbers up so we can have some idea of where our program is going at those older ages from U12 and above,” he said.

“We have some exciting things planned for those kids but we need to get the numbers up so that we can do some of those things. I think the snow on the ground hasn’t helped.”

There is also a shortage of coaches for the growing club and members are looking for volunteers and students to take on the job.

“We desperately need coaches at all age levels. Volunteer coaches are the lifeblood of the program. All they have to have is a willingness to have fun and enjoy time with the kids,” Lillico said.

Coaching is a good opportunity for high school students looking to complete their volunteer hours, according to the club. A coaches’ clinic will be held on April 26. Anyone interested in volunteering is asked to contact the club office at 519-669-1000.

Another change this year will see younger Wolves playing a different game. This year anyone playing in the uncer-12 divisions is in a skills based program focused on building ability and participation rather than scoring, as scores are not recorded, another change this year. The rules are part of a province-wide initiative of Sport Canada in the players also forgo tournaments for festivals with non-competitive games, Lillico added.

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