STELLARTON – Jenna Burrows says she’s grateful to be among five local soccer players to have been selected for Soccer Nova Scotia’s Under-13 team.
The selection of the two female and three male players from the Northern Nova United Soccer Club came after intense training and dedication and also includes Carson Ripoll, Isaac Macdonald, Maximilian van Zyl and Lindsey MacIvor – all members of the Northern Nova United Soccer Club based in Stellarton.
Another former NNU player, Ryan Huggan, was selected to the SNS U-13 Boys reserve squad.
Training begins Oct. 26 at the Soccer Nova Scotia Training Facility in Halifax.
“It’s a relief to find out after so much time and effort that I finally made it,” Burrows said.
“Northern Nova United is so proud of these players,” said NNU president Korey Avery. “Their hard work and dedication to the beautiful game serves as an inspiration to all players and coaches in our club. They are all great ambassadors for soccer, and we wish them luck with the provincial side.”
The selections followed weekly training sessions in Halifax, as well as at the William F. Sobey indoor soccer complex in Stellarton that allows players to play soccer year-round in a way that youngsters in HRM have been able to for years.
“I really like how we don’t have to travel so much,” said Burrows, who has been playing soccer since she was three. “I find soccer really fun. It’s not extremely rough but it is very competitive.”
The first step toward the U-13 provincial team is acceptance into the regional training centre program (RTC) for the top U-12 players in the Highland Region of which Pictou County is a part. The RTC provides a higher level of training with the possibility of going to provincial U-13 teams, regional Tier l teams, as well as local clubs within the Highland Region.
The clubs like Northern Nova United help build the players’ development as well as provide the players with a team and league to play in. The RTC helps provide the player with an ‘A’ level pathway for soccer development
Only select, identified players within the RTC are invited to attend the SNS identification camp, an intense three-day evaluation performed by SNS coaches. Following the camp, only the top players are invited back for a final evaluation.
The final evaluation is used to choose the elite U-13 players from across Nova Scotia to be members of the provincial team.
“NNU is very proud to play a role in the development of these players. They are shining examples of how our club’s commitment to the Canadian Soccer Association’s Long Term Player Development strategy is paying off. Our younger players have some great role models to look up to.”