In 2012, Pinnacles FC signed an agreement with Excelsior Rotterdam to enhance coaching and player development in the South Okanagan.
Since then, PFC male players have had the opportunity to travel to the Netherlands and train with Excelsior’s professional youth academy teams.
In exchange, Excelsior coaches have visited Penticton and worked with PFC players and coaches.
But now for the first time, six PFC female players have been chosen to train with Rotterdam’s Excelsior’s new women’s program. The trip is planned for March 2020.
“The players were picked as a result of ongoing year-round evaluations from our coaching staff,” said Rick Marini, head coach of the U13 Pinnacles FC Excelsior District Team.
So what do the girls think of learning new skills and training in Holland?
“The girls are super excited to be given the opportunity to travel to and train in Rotterdam where they will be exposed to a higher level and higher intensity training programs to improve their skills,” said Marini, who is also chairman of PFC.
PFC is seeing a growth in the number of girls joining the soccer program.
“The focus has traditionally always been on the male program until recently where the shift has been to develop our female program and build it to the same level as the male program,” said Marini.
“There has been a rising demand for female players at the university level all across North America and our goal is to prepare players and be able to provide them with these types of choices.”
The female Excelsior program in Rotterdam is fairly new as well.
“Having this exclusive partnership agreement with Excelsior Rotterdam allows us to benefit from high level programs and world class coaching to not only train our players but also train our coaches.”
This unique partnership between a Canadian youth club and a professional European club will not only give the players a cultural experience it will also develop their passion for the game of football, said the PFC.