It’s September, the days are getting shorter, the nights are cooler and for young players in the South Okanagan this means one thing, the fall soccer season is finally here. Starting next week, the Penticton Pinnacles Fall program begins for hundreds of kids aged three to 17 in Penticton, Summerland, Oliver and Osoyoos. “Our fall season goes for seven weeks and we have a couple of different programs; the excelsior and rec (recreation or house) programs for kids of all skill levels, there’s a little something for everybody,” said Pinnacles FC head coach Manuel Borba, who oversees the youth programs. “It’s a game everybody can play, you don’t even need a pair of soccer shoes, running shoes are just fine, you don’t need special equipment and size doesn’t matter because it’s not physical.” He added there is still time to register for the fall programs. Just as important to teaching and improving the skills of the young players is the fun and social aspects of the game according to the head coach. “It’s so important, we make sure our kids are really enjoying it because so many of them are going to be playing soccer for the rest of their lives,” said Borba. “We’ve made it lots of fun for them with little side games and other things. “The mentality is your kid is not likely going to be a pro, so it’s not serious and it’s just a fun thing for the players to go out there and get some exercise.” The fall house (recreation) program is a training session once a week while the excelsior academy runs twice a week with some weekend games. Excelsior provides a “professional and optimal” learning environment for players wanting to take their game to the next level. During the upcoming session players also have the option of signing up for the goalkeeper’s camp instructed by former Scottish professional Tom McGill. Pinnacles FC have been training young players in the basics of the sport for almost 70 years. Registration has remained steady in all four seasons with the fall numbers between 350 and 400. The spring is the most popular with more than 1,600 young players signing up. In addition to the fall and spring programs, Pinnacles FC offers an indoor winter session at the Adidas Sportsplex in Kings Park. Registration begins in October. For more information visit: pinnaclesfc.ca or email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 778-476-5888.
Mark Brett, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Penticton Herald