Smoky River Soccer Club joins the Alberta Soccer Association

Tom Henihan
Express Staff

The Smoky River Soccer Club (SRSC), which has been in existence for approximately 15 years, has formally joined the Alberta Soccer Association, (ASA) effective from March 26, 2018.
Membership in the Alberta Soccer Association will afford SRSC greater participation in sanctioned tournaments and provincial competitions. It also allows the club to host tournaments and offer authorized coach and referee training.
“If you want to access a higher level of competition within the province, then you have to belong to the ASA,” says SRSC Vice President of Operations Mark Heckbert. “The ASA is the governing body for soccer in the province and if you want to host or attend tournaments and have the opportunity to play in provincial level competition, you’ve got to join the association.”
In keeping with the ASA’s re-organized youth age groupings, the SRSC will adapt those groupings, which are U5, U7, U9, U11, U13, U15, U17 and U19.
SRSC with also offer regular league play for U15 members with clubs such as Peace River, Manning, Fairview and Spirit River in games at home and away. The league schedule will be determined at the District Meeting on April 8.
U11 and older will be offered additional play and plans are underway for these age groups to compete with other clubs.
Soccer will take place on Monday and Wednesday beginning May 2 until June 20. Soccer for the younger age groups, U5, U7 and U9 will be on Wednesdays only.
“I know as a coach, that you can only advance a player so much by playing one night a week over an 8-week season. So now, by switching to 2 nights a week over an 8-week season we will see quiet a change in the ability of our players to compete,” says Heckbert.
SRSC’s home field is GP Vanier School in Donnelly and the Club acknowledges and appreciates the support provided by the High Prairie School Division to host community soccer at the school.
In the last couple of years, the school had new regulation-sized goals installed and is planning field changes to facilitate a third full-size field. These changes are required to accommodate the hosting of soccer tournaments in the future.
Player registration deadline is April 15 and those who were unable to register at the March 29 parade of programs can register during a second registration event in the rotunda by the big gym at GP Vanier School, on April 9 from 7:00 to 9:00 pm.
There will be a $20 late registration penalty for registrations received after April 15.
SRSC needs coaches for several age groups and parents receive a free registration for one child when they volunteer to coach. A coaches’ meeting and clinic will be held in the GP Vanier School gym on April 28 from 1:00-3:00 pm.
SRSC has approximately 146 members with mostly male and female mixed teams. The club is confident that offering a higher level of training and opportunity for competition that its membership will increase.
“I remain convinced that if you a good product and learning environment and the kids and the parents feel they are getting good value, that they are having a lot of fun out there and they are able to compete, I think we’ll see our numbers grow,” says Heckbert.
For any questions about the upcoming soccer season, contact Mark Heckbert at (780) 523-0979.

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