Local players attend Canada Soccer camp

The four players before heading off from Halifax Stanfield Airport on Feb. 3. (Submitted photo)

FALL RIVER: Four young soccer players from Halifax, including the Fall River region, attended a week-long Regional EXCEL Program Identification camp put on by Canada Soccer.

The camp, which took place Feb. 3-8 in Laval, Que., is part of the new cycle for the FIFA U-17 girls soccer team selection process for the 2022 Women’s World Cup.

From the Halifax area were: Ellie Lancaster of Fall River, a goalkeeper who dons the jersey for Suburban FC & Nova Scotia REX; Grace Somers who plays with Suburban FC & Nova Scotia REX; Charity Cormier from United DFC SC & Nova Scotia REX; and Annika Leslie from Halifax City SC & Nova Scotia REX.

The six-day REX camp brings together players, coaches and staff from Canada Soccer’s Regional EXCEL Centres from across Canada. The camp provides the group with an opportunity for both growth and development as Canada Soccer works hand in hand with Regional EXCEL Centre coaches as well as Québec Super REX Centre coaches and staff.

Players in this particular camp have been drawn from the Regional EXCEL Centres in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Just last December, Canada finished fourth at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Uruguay 2018, the nation’s second-best finish at a FIFA youth tournament since age-level competitions were introduced in 2002.

Canada Soccer’s Women’s EXCEL Program brings together the best with the best at the national youth level from the U-14 to U-20 age groups. The program delivers an aligned talent structure that progresses players from the youth levels to the Women’s National Team.

Across Concacaf, FIFA, and other youth competitions, players develop the Women’s EXCEL Program Playing Model and benefit from invaluable tournament expertise.

Additionally, Canada Soccer’s most talented U-14 to U-18 players are offered a specialized daily training environment through the Women’s EXCEL Centres. The program delivers Canada Soccer’s national curriculum through a two-tiered talent system, with three EXCEL Super Centres in British Columbia, Ontario, and Québec supported by smaller Regional EXCEL Centres positioned across the country.