Sayonara Sooke Celtics

While interest in soccer is on the rise, the Sooke Celtics pack it in

In earlier iteration of the Sooke Celtics

For the first time since 2006, Sooke will be without a Division 1 soccer team. The Sooke Celtics, Sooke’s Division 1 men’s soccer team, has folded.

The decision was not an easy one to make, but it was inevitable.

“We did not want to fold the team,” said Robin Robin Saxl, president of the Sooke Soccer Club. “To give up a top level team is a heartbreaking decision.”

He went on to explain. “What happened over the past few years, they were shrinking in numbers, and the talent, to be honest, just wasn’t there to sustain this,” explained Saxl. “We have maybe seven or eight homegrown players at this point who could play at that level, but without the talent from the in-town players, it just wasn’t sustainable.”

At the same time that this Division 1 team has folded due to a steady diminishment of talent, ironically, the interest in soccer in Sooke is growing.

Registrations are up a bit, said Saxl, after seeing a decline over the past few years. “We were up to close to 400 players six/seven years ago. And now we are at probably 350. But were down as far as 280.”

While he can’t attribute the upward (or downward) swing to anything specific, Saxl points out that soccer is financially accessible. “We’re a really cheap sport, equipment-wise and registration. It’s cheap compared to hockey.”

What this means is that the Sooke Soccer Club can start rebuilding its homegrown talent.

“It’s better to start again and rebuild at level three, and we are quite confident that we can get going up there again with growing talent and the talent we already have.” Saxl sees a Division 1 team sometime within the next five years.

“We will have a division two team next year, no matter what.”

In order to become a top level team, players need to commit to the sport. “You’re looking at two- to three-times a week practice, and of course the games,” said Saxl. “During the summer break it’s up to every individual to keep fit.” The season runs from September through March, and the fields can get quite soggy over the wintery wet months.

Which leads to the other future aspiration for Saxl: besides growing a Division 1 men’s soccer team, he would love to see a less soggy space on which to play.

“Our goal is to put an artificial turf on the field so we don’t have to close it down when it rains,” said Saxl. Anyone interested in supporting the cause can purchase a square foot for $10. They are looking to cover 30,000 square feet. Anyone interested in owning a square foot of turf can contact the Sooke Soccer club through their website at sookesoccer.com, and click on the Contact tab.

 

Just Posted

Victoria housing provider launches crisis prevention program to combat homelessness

Pacifica Housing aims to address challenges before tenants risk evictions

Victoria wins crucial WHL contest over Giants in Langley

Royals take over second in B.C. Division ahead of Vancouver

Cordova Bay group against plaza redevelopment

Cordova Bay shopping centre has three, four-storey buildings

Man hospitalized after early morning Sooke Road crash

Police say injuries are non life-threatening

WATCH: Giant waves smash Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point

Folks made their way to Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point Lighthouse on Thursday, Jan.… Continue reading

Women’s movement has come a long way since march on Washington: Activists

Vancouver one of several cities hosting event on anniversary of historic Women’s March on Washington

Liberals’ 2-year infrastructure plan set to take 5: documents

Government says 793 projects totalling $1.8 billion in federal funds have been granted extensions

Workers shouldn’t be used as ‘pawns’ in minimum wage fight: Wynne

Comments from Kathleen Wynne after demonstrators rallied outside Tim Hortons locations across Canada

John ‘Chick’ Webster, believed to be oldest living former NHL player, dies

Webster died Thursday at his home in Mattawa, Ont., where he had resided since 1969

World’s fastest log car made in B.C. sells for $350,000 US

Cedar Rocket auctioned off three times at Barrett-Jackson Co., netting $350,000 US for veterans

Bad timing: Shutdown spoils Trump’s one-year festivities

Trump spends day trying to hash out a deal with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

RCMP nail alleged sex toy thief

Shop owner plays a role in arrest

Ice-cream-eating bear draws controversy

An Alberta Wildlife Park posted a video this week of one of their bears going through a Dairy Queen drive-through

Most Read