Sundre soccer teams gear up for provincials
Sundre’s U-16 boys and U-14 boys teams are gearing up for this week’s provincial championships in Leduc, with high hopes on both squads of doing very well against their Alberta rivals.
The U-16 team did not lose a single game this season, wining by large margins in many matches, including a 12-1 score in the division final against Olds.
The provincials go July 6 - 8 in Leduc, with the U-16 team playing its first game against Lakeland on Friday night.
Coach Pat VandenHadelkamp says the squad is very competitive and knows how to win.
“I’m coaching for eight or nine years now and this is the best team I’ve had so far,” he said. “It’s a very small team, with only 13 players. That gives us only two spares but I like it that way because with 20 players the new guys have to come in and figure things out all over again. I actually like the smaller team.”
During practices in the run-up to provincials the team’s players have been sharpening up their fundamentals, including passing, he said.
“Ninety per cent of the time during practices I play the offence against the defence on one half of the field so they really get the feeling of how to pass to each other and how to go about that,” he said.
Asked how he thinks the team will do at provincials, coach Pat replied: “I told them that if they really want it, and they do, and if they play like they always do they should go far.
“At the same time, I told them if they don’t go far they shouldn’t worry about it because all it tells you is the level in the rest of the province. I know they are good and there’s no doubt.”
The U-14 team beat Didsbury 5 - 1 in the division final.
Coach Andrew Pearce says his players have been working hard at keeping their skills sharp during pre-provincial practices.
“We are doing a lot of general drills,” said Pearce. “We are working on keeping the skill levels up.”
He explained that the team has added three new players, two from U-12 and one from a U-14 team in Didsbury.
“I was worried that we wouldn’t have a team but now that we’ve added those few substitutes, we are good to go,” he said.