What a time to be a kid playing soccer in Canada!
The opportunities appear mind boggling if you work or play inside this game. A new professional league, an MLS team that came within a whisker of a CONCACAF championship, a youth game that appears to be on the rise again, and now a World Cup on home soil!
A TSS FC we have been working hard for many years to build a player centred development model, attempting to support those kids that came to our program to get better in every facet of the game. Building an outlet like the Rovers at the top of our club pyramid made sense so we could help challenge our athletes to grow under more stressful and adverse situations. Situations that high level competition demands. Our women’s team boasts many academy players and we are so proud of them for taking the challenge and not just standing up to it but also performing really well at the higher level. Players like Kathleen Aitchison, Seina Porth, Maya Alibudbud, and Natalie Cooke to name just a few of the ten past and present TSS developed players. The pathway is happening and we couldn’t be mo
re proud of all of the work our players and coaching staff have been up to.
On the men’s side we were and are prepared to be patient. A different game. Not better or worse but more players, often older, chasing a myriad of professional options across the continent and globe. Our expectations at the club were that we’d be at this game for a little longer before seeing the first boys in our program get some time on the green grass of Swangard.
All that changes on Sunday against the VMSL ALL STARS.
The first boys academy product to be named in an 18 man TSS FC Rovers roster will become a reality. Earlier than planned but with no less pride than expected. Henry Cromack will suit up for the first time after beginning as a training player in the inaugural season at the age of 13. At the age of 14 years old we hope he can get on the field and play some part in game action this weekend.
“I have been around Henry since he first entered our program. I see a young player who hungers for challenge and has spent many hours on his own getting better. Each training session he comes to with the intent to improve. I believe he could walk into any team in his age group and make them better” suggests TSS FC Excel coach, Darren Russcher.
Club captain, Marcello Polisi, spoke about Henry glowingly, stating, “Henry joined training last year and we were surprised he could keep up at all. This year he has fit in even more, is a humble kid who knows his role and is looking more and more at the level. It’s really cool to see young guys and help them learn by being a part and it’s great for the club.”
“I really believe in challenging young players in the first team environment” say Nick Soolsma, Rovers player coach, “and Henry has a fit in really well with the group. I was surprised at first but he has handled himself well and deserves to get this opportunity. It will be fun to see.”
A World Cup is on the way and it is youth clubs across the country, coupled with CPL environments, PDL teams, League One and others that will need to be brave in giving young players the platform to improve through increased competition and challenges.
At TSS Academy and TSS FC we are extremely excited to see our young players developing and getting a chance to improve.
Good luck to all our ladies this weekend as they embark on a tough match against Seattle Sounders and to the first boy, of what we hope will be many many more, Henry Cromack making his Rovers debut.
Together Standing Strong
Colin, Brendan, and Will