Whitecaps bring star power to Saanich

Whitecaps star to join youth camp at Pacific Institute for Sports Excellence

Vancouver Whitecaps star Kekuta Manneh will be at the Pacific Institute for Sports Excellence for the final day of the Whitecaps FC three-day Youth Prospects Day

Vancouver Whitecaps star Kekuta Manneh will be at the Pacific Institute for Sports Excellence for the final day of the Whitecaps FC three-day Youth Prospects Day

The Vancouver Whitecaps FC are always on the lookout for the next Canadian soccer star and their new program is bringing them to Saanich.

From Monday to Wednesday, the Whitecaps Lower Island soccer academy will host a Youth Prospects camp at the Pacific Institute for Sports Excellence for players aged seven to 15.  It’s run by Kevin Lindo, head coach of the West Shore-based Whitecaps Lower Island Academy, which enters its second year in September and also uses the turf fields of Layritz Park.

“What the three-day camp does is it gives other families and kids an insight into what we do, how we coach, and the environment we offer,” said Lindo, who also runs the Nanaimo-based Upper Island Academy.

Lindo also said not to overlook the opportunity to develop, as youth players can accomplish a lot in three days.

And there’s also going to be a guest coach and speaker on Wednesday, 22-year-old Kekuta Manneh, who is one of the most exciting players in the MLS.

“He’s pleasing on the eye for football fans, exceptionally fast, scores great goals, technically strong, and a game changer,” Lindo said.

Manneh is also an extremely humble guy who has a lot of time for kids, is not in a rush, and has come through a similar system starting in Gambia, Lindo added.

“He’s just like every other kid, with his dreams and aspirations of playing at the highest level, and he had to work hard to get there.”

Manneh will speak and offer a question and answer session with kids, providing advice for getting to the next level.

The camp is a chance for  youth players to be identified for the Whitecaps Academy.

The camp is open to boys and girls aged U8 to U11 (9 to 11:30 a.m.) and U12 to U16 (noon to 2:30 p.m.). For more information visit whitecapsfc.com/camps or call 1-885-932-1932.