Victoria Highlanders' Prospects
About the Prospects
The PROSPECTS UNDER-20 programs provide the platform for top 17 to 20 year-olds in the Highlanders' System to train and compete at the elite level. The Highlanders PROSPECTS programs are in the hands of coaches Steve Simonson and Dave Dew.
While serving as a reserve team system for many MLS, W-League and Premier Development League teams, the USL Super-20 League features teams competing in regional divisions, consisting of 8-10 regular season matches throughout the summer months. In 2010 the Super-20 League featured 43 Men’s teams in 5 Divisions across the continent all playing for a North American Super-20 Championship. Some of the United States top amateur clubs, as well as many professional clubs, including 5 MLS programs (LA Galaxy, DC United, Columbus Crew, Chicago Fire, and Chivas USA) featured teams in the Super-20 League’s 2010 campaign. Likewise, 25 Women’s Super-20 teams were featured in four divisions which included Northwest teams such as the Vancouver Whitecaps and the Seattle Sounders.
Highlanders FC Under-20 Program The Highlanders FC Under-20 Program is the pinnacle of the Highlanders FC Youth Academy system and serves as a Reserve pool for the men’s Premier Development Team and the women’s W-League Team. Highlanders FC, alongside the club system, will help to develop players from 8-15 years of age through its academy program. From this group, the club will select a handful of the players to join the Under-20 program on a full time (year round) basis at U17.
Players who join the Highlanders FC Under-20 program will undergo a 2-4 year soccer apprenticeship with the club with two major goals in mind:
- Prepare the players to play in our PDL team or possible professional career in the game,
- Prepare the players for a University soccer opportunity upon completion of their final year of secondary school.
First team coaches Ian Bridge and Dave Dew consistently attend the training and games of the Under-20 program to assess the progress of the players. It is critical for our first teams’ successes that there continues to be home grown talent pushing its way into the top tier of the club. This will only come from a solid focus on our Academy, PROSPECTS Super-20 programs.
VHFC Prospects Under-20 ANNUAL PROGRAM
Running from September through to August, a four month general preparation period proceeds a main competitive phase of the program (Super-20 USL League) and culminates in a transition period for the final few weeks of the program. This transition period is used as a recovery period for players at the end of a competitive summer phase, as well as a transition point into university programs should the players choose that path. The only difference between the boys and girls program is the inclusion of the boys in the VISL competitions at the U21 level.
The Preparation Period will last from September through to January. The purpose of this phase is to develop the overall soccer and physical abilities of the players. New entry players are brought up to speed with standards of the training environment, and work to prepare themselves for full involvement within the team’s competitive structure. The main focus of the Preparation Period will be player technique, movement skills, strength and physical preparation, playing philosophy and position specific training.
A Competitive Period will last from February through to the end of July. This is the period of the program where the games results become meaningful and the focus switches to the competitive side of the performances. With the bulk of the developmental preparation being completed in the Preparation Period, the emphasis can switch to a competitive preparation needed to finalize organizational details for highly competitive matches in the Super-20 League season. The ultimate competition goal of the program is to compete for the USL Super-20 North American Championship at the end of July.
Training ScheduleThe volume and intensity of training will change throughout the year depending on the phase of training and the competition schedule. In general the players should expect to be part of a full time training, education, and development program consisting of the following:
- On field practices,
- Average 3x per week,
- Team and small group strength training sessions at PISE,
- Team and small group seminars for sport science and tactics,
- Team and small group physical testing protocols,
- Individual or small group technique sessions,
- Individual strength and conditioning programs,
- Individual players assessment and feedback sessions.