Victoria Highlanders FC has a new team that gives elite Vancouver Island soccer players the chance to develop their skills year-round.
The Vancouver Island Soccer League (VISL) Division II, was developed for soccer players between the ages of 16 to 18 that serves as a stepping stone to college soccer.
The Div. II team joins the Highlanders’ 2018 Premier Development League (PDL) and Pacific Coast Soccer League (PCSL) teams. Players for the new VISL Division II league will have a chance to compete for a spot on the club’s PDL team for the summer months. The Div. II team will be coached by Thomas Niendorf, Highlanders FC head coach and assistant coach, Vikram Virk.
Niendorf said in a statement that the Div. II team will be able to support more players through their development.
“This Highlanders and Pacific Elite Sports Institute initiative to run a VISL Division II team provides a much-needed pathway for player development,” he said. “Now determined young Island players will have an even greater opportunity to reach their soccer goals.”
Managing director, Brett Large, is also enthused about more opportunities for local talent.
“Since day one, our ownership group has said we are committed to giving back to the community and the inclusion of a team in the VISL is another example of that commitment,” Large said.
This past season the Highlanders FC saw a 300 per cent increase in fan attendance and increased support from local businesses within the community.
Players interested in participating in the Highlanders FC youth program can reach out at www.highlandersfc.ca.