The Sooke boys under 18-17 Gold soccer team in action against Oak Bay recently. (James MacKenzie/Sooke News Mirror)

Sooke under-18 soccer team aims for more success

Squad improves with each outing

It may have been built from scratch, but expectations are high for this year’s Sooke Soccer Club’s Under 17-18 Boys team.

With a deep roster filled with size, speed, and athleticism, the Gold division squad is poised for a memorable season.

“This is the most talented group I’ve seen come out of Sooke,” said coach Corey Stratten, who’s coached for more than 20 years.

The year the soccer club combined its U17 and U18 teams into one unit, with half the team playing in Sooke – and together – for the last 10 years. The other half consists of players returning after a few years with the Juan de Fuca Soccer Association in Langford.

So far, the team has had a lukewarm start, but is starting to jell.

“We’ve had some growing pains,” Stratten said. “But the last few games we’ve played tight games with the upper echelon teams in the league.”

The slow start could also be borne from the different brand of soccer Sooke is playing, going from kick-and-run to a possession-style.

READ MORE: Sooke U17-18 soccer club celebrates homecoming

“With this kind of soccer, it’s all about positioning and being comfortable and familiar with the players around you,” Stratten said.

“We have 11 great players on the field right now and you use each one of them.”

Stratten said he expects “a lot of surprising results” in the second half of the season, as the team challenges for the provincial championship, district and coastal cups.

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