Handy Sports Rag
|"Serving the Sporting Community of Central Alberta"|
|The Soccer Pitch|
searching for soccer players
Olds Olympia are looking for a few good men with a passion for soccer.
Entering their sixth year of participating in the Central Alberta Men's
Soccer League, the Olympia are preparing for the upcoming season.
With a nucleus of players from last season returning, the Olympia have
an excellent core to build a team but, there is an opportunity for more
players to fill vacated positions or to form a second team in Olds.
Olympia Manager, Rob Reichenbacher , feels there is enough interest in
soccer within the area to field another senior men's team. With several
Midget players graduating from Olds Minor soccer and other minor soccer
organizations from within the area, the Olympia is filling a void for
interested soccer players aged 18 years and older.
"Right now I don't know what to expect as to how many players we
will have this season but, there seems to be a good interest in the
team," Reichenbacher said.
"It would be an ideal situation to have at least 30 players
registered then we could have two teams this season," added
It is expected try-outs for the team will commence around the middle of
May and league play will hit the pitches during the first week in June
and continue weekly until the end of August.
The Alberta Men's Soccer League is one of the premiere leagues in the
province and usually operates with 12 teams. However, this year the
league is looking to bring in a couple new teams into the fold.
Red Deer is expected to have four teams entered in league play and there
is talk two more teams could be involved in play this year. Other member
teams in the Central Alberta Men's soccer League include, Olds, Lacombe,
Rocky Mountain House and Rimbley.
"Competition within the league is extremely competitive and some of
the best players in the province are members of league teams,"
Games are usually played on Sundays and Thursdays. Because the Olds
College soccer pitch handles teams from the Olds Minor Soccer
Association, the Olympia are requesting their home games be played on
Sundays this season.
"We're finding it extremely difficult to schedule games when minor
soccer is still being played. By scheduling our home games on
Sunday, we may be able to solve the scheduling problem which always
exists every season," Reichenbacher noted.
Besides recruiting players, the Olympia is in a search for a coach this
season and anyone interested in becoming involved in men's soccer
is asked to contact any member of the Olympia. Besides playing league
games, the Olympia are trying to schedule a couple of high calibre
tournaments during the season.
"We have always had good support from the community and I hope this
continues this season," concluded Reichenbacher.
Players get a kick out of soccer
With an expectant registration of close to 400, Olds minor soccer
players are getting a kick out of the game.
A two-day registration blitz held last week for the Olds Minor
Soccer Association netted over 100 signed players eager to hit the
soccer pitches throughout town.
Throughout Canada, soccer has seen a dramatic increase in the number of
players participating in the game and the Olds Minor Soccer Association
is hoping to turn the frenzy for the sport into increased participation.
Olds Minor Soccer Association president, Gaye Grenier, said the
increase in registration is mainly due to the exposure the game has
received nationally with the success of the U-19 Women's World Cup
Tournament held in Edmonton last summer.
"The World Cup tournament has generated interest amongst the female
players," said Grenier.
"The Olds Minor Soccer Association is expecting the number of girls
registering for minor soccer to increase substantially this year,"
"Over the years, the opportunity for girls to become involved in
the sport has definitely increased," noted Grenier.
Last season the majority of teams registered for play had girls on the
playing roster. This season, the Big Country Soccer League has
introduced a girls division for the older age groups and Grenier is
expecting Olds will field three teams consisting of female players.
Besides Olds it is anticipated towns fielding female teams will be based
out of Crossfield, Carstairs, Didsbury and Cremona. Younger aged female
players will continue to play on male house league teams.
For the past few years, the minor soccer executive has worked hard at
acquiring more soccer pitches to play on. Games in the past have been
played at O.R. Hedges Park, Deer Meadows School and Olds College. With
the addition of a regulation soccer field built by the Olds Elks,
scheduling should be somewhat easier this season.
"Olds Minor soccer appreciates the support of the Elks Club in
building this new field," Grenier said.
Besides the Elks Club supporting minor soccer, the association has
received financial assistance from various merchants throughout town and
other service clubs.
"The financial assistance we have received from the business
community has kept our registration costs down," indicated Grenier,
noting registrations fees for this season are the same as last year.
"We have also received sponsorship for our uniforms," added
With the co-operation of Soccer Alberta, the Olds Minor Soccer
Association has provided coaching clinics for those interested in
coaching minor soccer or helping out. Grenier noted the soccer
association is always looking for coaches and encourages interested
coaches to attend the coaching clinics, which cover the basic
fundamentals of the game.
This season additional teams from Bowden will play in the Olds Minor
soccer house league.
Besides encouraging females to join soccer, the Vig Country soccer
League will establish an age related developmental team which will focus
on the skills of the game. Players from every league member team will
have an opportunity to try out for this formatted team.
According to Grenier, soccer is a game requiring very little equipment
and can be played for fun and enjoyment.
"the philosophy of the Olds Minor Soccer Association has always
been to provide the players with an opportunity to play the game
in a fun and relaxed atmosphere," Grenier concluded.
Registration will continue until the end of March and registration forms
can be picked up at Timberline Source For Sports, Intersport and the
Esso Gas Bar.
League play is expected to commence during the first week of