Woolwich Youth Soccer Club’s teams wrapped up the season on a high note, to say the least.
The successes included league cup tournament wins from both the U16 boys and U15 girls, and a provincial win by the U16 girls in the Ontario Cup Tournament.
“For a small club like us to have three teams come down as champions and one a provincial champion, that is huge,” said Brendan Lowther, technical director and chair of the club’s rec. committee.
The provincial win for the U16 girls was their third in the past four years.
“The big one is the U16 girls who won the provincial championship, the Ontario Cup. That is the province-wide cup that they play throughout the summer against all teams that register for it. They played against the best competition in the province; this will be their third win as a team in the last four years. Last year, they went to the national championships. They don’t have a national championships at U16 but they do at U17,” he said. “So next year the hope is that they will go on to be the Ontario Cup Champions again and get to the national championships. That’s their goal.”
As for this year the team had a clean sweep in all facets of play. In addition to the Ontario Cup win, they also finished first in their league.
“The U16 girls also won the Interleague Cup,” he said. “That tournament is a three-game tournament with a points system and they had won the tournament after two games, so pretty impressive.”
Although the teams finished up in September, tryouts for next year’s roster have already come and passed.
“All the teams will have moved up, so we will have U9s, U11s, and then U13s all the way up to U17s,” he said.
Part of the tryouts was their food drive in support of Woolwich Community Services, a tradition unique to the organization.
Instead of having a fee to try out for the rep. teams like most other clubs, the organization asks for donations to the food bank at WCS.
“The club just wanted to do something different and not be tied down to having players pay a fee because often we will have players trying out at different clubs,” he explained. “We recognize that as a club we don’t necessarily need the money … we don’t think it’s right. We think we can do a better job by just saying, ‘hey, if people can donate to the food bank and put it towards a worthy cause in the community, then that is what we would rather do and give back to the community that has given a lot to us in terms of being able to support our teams.”
This year, in response to their efforts, they were able to drop off 500 pounds of food and a donation of more than $150.
After such a successful year, Lowther is ready to get everyone back out to play for next season.
“Most teams will practice starting in January in local school gyms, and the U13 and U16 girls both play in indoor leagues to keep the levels up, but that’s dependant on the availability of the players because of hockey and other sports, which we encourage them to play throughout the winter,” he explained. “And then come the spring time we will get them outside as soon as we can.”