BC Soccer Charter Club

Okanagan FC is delighted to be announced as one of BC Soccer’s latest recipients of Club Charter  status.

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BC Soccer’s Club Charter Program was rebranded in 2019 to the Charter Program to become inclusive for both members and associate members as well as being positioned under the newly introduced Canada Soccer Club Licensing Program.
The Charter is a free “opt-in” program based on three top line categories being, Technical, Governance, and Administration and enables these organizations to be recognized and receive support and added service from BC Soccer regardless of the organization’s size and location within BC.

Okanagan FC is now one of 34 soccer clubs within BC with Club Charter status. Our commitment to the Club Charter Program is an indicator of our club’s intention of operating all areas of our organization, both on and off the field, to the highest standards possible.

Read the full BC Soccer announcement HERE.

The New Okanagan FC Academy

Introducing for 2020, the new Okanagan FC Academy Program…..

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In an effort to fully integrate all of our academy programs with our club, we have ‘retired’ the Soccaskool brand and logo, and replaced them with the new OFC Academy Program.

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Soccaskool has been in operation, as a full time academy program since 2012. In 2014, we fielded our first Development Team…a U10 Boys team. By 2018, we had outgrown the name somewhat as we began fielding adult teams.  Okanagan FC was born, as an adult soccer club complete with youth programming. In 2019 we fielded a Men’s Team in The Pacific Coast Soccer League, making us the only senior soccer club, competing in inter city competition, in Kelowna.

Now, in 2020, we will complete our transformation from Junior Academy to Senior Soccer Club, by integrating all academy programs with OFC.

You can read more about the changes we are making, as well as some nice new features to the programs and some additional programs, on our OFC Junior Academy page.

Registration for the OFC Academy in January and February is now open, please visit the Registration page and come and join us.

 

OFC Goalies Academy

“A good goalkeeper is worth 15 points a season.” – Sir Alex Ferguson

Lots of people (especially in youth soccer) sometimes do not give the goalkeeping position the attention that it requires. There is as much nuance and skill-acquisition in goalkeeping as there is with any other position on the field. At Okanagan FC, we have made it a priority to improve our goalkeeping programs, and have been delighted at the progress our keepers have made under the guidance of Tom McGill (Our specialized goalkeeping instructor). We hope that over the next few phases, Okanagan FC develops a reputation for developing quality young keepers through excellent training and instruction.

“For a goalkeeper, there is no hiding place.” – Brad Friedel

The goalkeeping position in soccer is a unique challenge, and is unlike any other role on the team. A strong goalkeeper will never be able to win a game on their own, but they can certainly save one! Similarly, a weak goalkeeping moment can cost a team 90 minutes of hard work in one single moment if the goalkeeper is unprepared or makes a mistake.

So what are the building blocks of a quality goalkeeper? Of course athleticism is important… power, agility and quickness are crucial components when considering the desired qualities in a keeper. They must also be proficient with their diving and handling ability through a wide variety of situations, ranging from shot-stopping to the ability to intercept crosses and through-passes before they materialize in a shooting opportunity. These key attributes must also be layered on top of excellent balance/footwork, a quality and consistent set position, and a solid understanding of positioning in relation to the goal.

The modern goalkeeper must also possess good ability with the ball at their feet, and be comfortable with starting attacks from the defense, this puts a demand on goalkeepers that they be comfortable with receiving the ball from their defenders, as well as being able to distribute competently through a range of short/long passes, aerial kicks and throws/rolls.

Of course, this doesn’t even touch on a keeper’s ability to effectively organize and communicate with their defenders…

“As a goalkeeper, you need to be good at organizing the people in front of you and motivating them. You need to be able to see what’s going on and react to the threats.” – Peter Shilton

At Okanagan FC, our specialized goalkeeper coach is very familiar with the challenges of training competitive young goalkeepers, and looks to guide our players throughout the learning process by delivering a variety of focused, engaging and challenging sessions. OFC Goalkeeper training will be an enjoyable and satisfying fit for any aspiring goalkeepers.

The Academy Environment

Okanagan FC and Soccaskool academy are a fantastic place to start on your development path. Our coaches have many years of experience working with players along the early stages of this process, with many of our graduates now competing in the BCSPL, playing on the BC Provincial Team, or even having earned a spot in the full time development program of Vancouver Whitecaps. We base our programs around technical development in a fun, engaging, high-energy environment.

The desire to play quality, simple soccer comes hand in hand with a development process that starts at a young age. As a “mini” it is most important that a player be able to perform individual actions with the ball, such as a wide range of ways to stop the ball and change direction. These players also should be able to begin understanding the foundations of 1v1 play, and how to advance the ball beyond an opponent. As the development process advances, the players need to be guided in their discovery of team-play, and taught how to work together in conjunction with their teammates to deal with slightly more complex soccer situations like 2v1, 3v2, 3v3 and even up to their 4v4 training game format.

“Playing football is very simple, playing simple football is the hardest thing there is.”     Johan Cruyff

At Okanagan FC, we believe that to get the optimum experience from the game of soccer, that everything should begin and end with the ball… but in a game where two teams are constantly locked in a battle for control over one ball, there are complications to this.

“The most specific points of attention with the youngest players are the basic technical skills involved in playing 4v4 in training… passing, receiving and dribbling – to advance the ball or beat an opponent….these sessions serve as the basis wherein ingredients such as time, space, direction, speed, opponents, enjoyment and challenge play a role. The good cook (coach) knows how to play with these ingredients.”     Rinus Michels (UEFA Coach of the Century)

We are proud of our Academy Program, and of the players we have worked with and helped to develop over the years.

www.soccaskool.com for information and registration (currently registering for November and December indoor classes). Information and registration for January and February classes coming soon.

Tough Weekend as the PCSL Playoff Race Warms Up

Tigers 3-2 Okanagan FC

The Okanagan FC PCSL team started a tough back-to-back weekend with an away match to FC Tigers, who are now top of the division with 23 points.

OFC’s leading scorer, Randy Hubber, almost got the visitors off to the perfect start… only to be denied by a string of solid saves by the Tigers’ goalkeeper. OFC were off to a bright start, but weren’t able to take their chances.

Tigers grew into the game midway through the first half, and moved the ball well. Showing the quality that now has them on top of the table. OFC’s defence held strong, but was eventually broken in spectacular fashion, when Tigers’ central midfielder blasted a shot into the top corner from 30 yards.

Despite their strong second half record this season, OFC quickly found themselves 3-0 down with two lapses of concentration soon after the break. Tigers’ forwards were clinical with their finishing, leaving OFC keeper Carson Murray little chance with any of the goals.

Character is shown in these moments though, as Okanagan FC piled on late pressure in the last 15 minutes. The team relentlessly attacked until the final whistle, never giving up on the result. They were rewarded with a goal from Shaun Pilcher, and then a second in the 89th minute from Christian Artavia. Both goals coming as a result of quality crosses from the left wing.

In the final moments, OFC pressed hard for the equalizer, hitting the bar and carving out a clear breakaway opportunity … but the Tigers’ keeper held strong and the final result was a 3-2 defeat for OFC on the road.

Okanagan FC 1-3 Khalsa Sporting Club

Sunday saw OFC host Khalsa Sporting Club, the PCSL’s current League and Playoff Champion. The teams had met just one week earlier, with OFC winning 2-0 on the road.

The hosts started quickly, feeding from the energy of the home crowd (400) at the Apple Bowl. A couple of early attempts could definitely have been converted, one header from winger Christian Artavia missed by inches.

Against the run of play, Khalsa scored a fantastic free kick from 30 yards out. The ball whipped over the wall and kissed the post on its way in… 1-0.

OFC responded positively to this goal however, and substitute Alex Thompson had soon won the hosts a penalty with some excellent work down the right wing. Despite scoring one the previous weekend, the Khalsa goalkeeper made a good save to his bottom right to deny Alex the equalizer.

The equalizer would come though, from a Markus Roth free kick just before half time. From right on the edge of the box, The German midfielder curled the ball around the wall and beat the goalkeeper to his bottom left, a tremendous strike!

Khalsa were much more threatening in the second half, and their striker capitalized twice with fantastic finishes into the top left corner of the Okanagan net. With a 2 goal deficit and 15 minutes to play, it wasn’t looking good for OFC.

Once again, Okanagan never gave up on the match… Brandon McCallum and Fabrice Fanfani both hit the woodwork in the second half, the finishing touch was all that was missing for the home team.

Overall though, two very competitive and hard-fought games against quality opponents for Okanagan FC… and a fantastic crowd in the stadium who had a great time, watching some quality local soccer – the club now sit 2 points behind local rivals Kamloops Wolfpack in the race for playoffs. The two teams meet each other, in what will be a crucial match this Saturday July 13 at the Apple Bowl. The team have 2 home back-to-back weekends left, all games against the current top 4, come out and support!

Okanagan FC vs Kamloops Wolfpack – Saturday, July 13th – 4:00 – Apple Bowl

Okanagan FC vs Victoria Highlanders – Sunday July 14th – 12:00 – Apple Bowl

Okanagan FC vs Surrey United – Saturday July 20th – 4:00 – Apple Bowl

Okanagan FC vs FC Tigers – Sunday July 21st – 1:00 – Apple Bowl