The Smithers girls 15 and under squad finished in third place overall. (Tom Best photo)

Third for Bulkley Valley teams vs big city soccer squads

Competition with players from across North to select teams for provincial championships in Kamloops.

It was not the largest soccer tournament ever but the level of enthusiasm was certainly up there.

Players in the Northern Cup girls playdowns continuously displayed enthusiasm that showed a love for the game and devotion to their teams.

The competition was designed to select teams to attend the provincial championships which will be held in Kamloops and featured teams from northern B.C. In this case there were no separate categories for town size so a community the size of Prince George would play against a team from a town the size of Smithers.

Case in point: Smithers fielded a team in under 13 which consisted of players as young as 10. They were selected from a small group of candidates, probably no more than 25. The selection process took place mere weeks ago and they had little opportunity to play or practice together.

Prince George on the other hand had basically an all-star team chosen from as many as eight all-girls teams. They have played together for a number of years now and have the chance to play year-round in indoor facilities.

Nonetheless, the Bulkley Valley squads played admirably. They attempted plays and worked on the technical side of their games and while they make have been outscored, they displayed good team work and they can only be proud of themselves.

Both local teams finished in third position in their pools.

The under 13 title was garnered by a strong Prince George team while the under 15 crown was taken by Quesnel.

The tournament format was in some ways a very challenging one as teams played up to three games in one day, so general fitness could have been an issue but the Smithers players did not display and difficulties in that area. It appeared that the main difficulty that the local players seemed to have was in positioning and play making.

Tournament organizer Tamara Gillis was more than satisfied with the outcome of the event.

“The volunteers did a great job and the girls played well,” she said.

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