People told Pacific FC CEO Rob Friend that professional soccer on Vancouver Island would never work.
Even though much of PFC’s existence has coincided with a pandemic, Friend said not only is the soccer team still standing, but it has a Canadian Premier League championship to its name.
At a season kickoff event in Victoria on Thursday (March 31), Friend thanked fans and supporters for getting PFC to where it is.
“Three years ago, people didn’t know what we were,” he said. “We can sit here today and everybody knows the Pacific Football Club on Vancouver Island and everybody knows the Pacific Football Club in Canada.”
Winning the CPL’s top prize meant a lot to the organization and the community and Friend said the team is only looking to the future.
The team envisions Starlight Stadium packed with 5,000 to 8,000 fans every game. Friend said the organization is also in talks with Langford about expanding the stadium.
His goal is for young soccer players from Vancouver Island to develop their skills with Pacific FC and for local kids to grow up dreaming of playing for the West Shore club.
One of the biggest cheers from supporters came when Friend said the organization wants to expand women’s soccer.
“We’re going to bring women’s professional football, one day, to Vancouver Island, I mean that and I’m committed to that.”
Fans have asked the team why there was so much turnover in the offseason, but Friend said the role of PFC and the Canadian Premier League is to bring players in, push them to get better and then send them off to bigger and better things in the soccer world.
But with a core in place and some exciting talent brought in, Friend said the team is ready to compete once again.
“I truly believe that this year, we have the most competitive squad we’ve ever had.”
Pacific FC will kick off the 2022 season on April 10 against Hamilton’s Forge FC at Starlight Stadium.
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