Aldergrove's Nick Waterman (centre left) puts pressure on Langley United's goal in a 1-0 victory for the Aldergrove Razorbacks

Abbotsford lands Premier League soccer franchise

Abbotsford’s status as a soccer hotbed was confirmed on Thursday afternoon, as the recently rebranded Magnuson Ford FC was awarded a franchise in the new B.C. Soccer Premier League.The local club – formerly known as the Abbotsford Soccer Association – is one of eight founding franchises in the Premier League, which replaces metro (girls) and selects (boys) as the top tier of youth soccer in the province.”It’s a big sigh of relief that we were successful,” Magnuson Ford FC president Brad Nicholl said. “We’re on Cloud 9 right now, but we’ve got to move forward. We can’t sit back at all.”The Premier League, known informally as the High Performance League (HPL) during the development stages, features six regional teams in the Lower Mainland/Fraser Valley, one on Vancouver Island, and one in the Interior. Each franchise will field boys and girls teams from U13 to U18.In addition to Abbotsford, the other franchises are Burnaby/North Shore; Coquitlam Metro Ford; Surrey United; South Fraser Soccer Club; Vancouver/Richmond; Lower Island/Upper Island Associations (Vancouver Island); and Thompson Okanagan FC.The major innovation with the Premier League is that players are allowed to move outside of district boundaries to play on the elite circuit. By limiting the number of franchises to eight, B.C.’s top soccer talent is more concentrated.Nicholl felt Magnuson Ford FC’s bid was well-received in light of the association’s history as a soccer trailblazer. Abbotsford was the first club in B.C. to hire a full-time paid head coach (current Vancouver Whitecaps assistant coach Colin Miller), and was the first to host a USL Super Y-League youth program.The local association’s bid got a boost late in the game when Langley FC – an all-girls association – signed on as an official partner. The girls’ side of the Magnuson Ford Premier League franchise will be hosted by Langley.”Our bid had to go in on Jan. 31, which was a Monday, and they came on board on Jan. 29 at 4:30 in the afternoon,” said Nicholl, adding that the Langley club had initially been leaning towards aligning itself with Surrey United.Chilliwack FC and Aldergrove Soccer were also partners in Abbotsford’s Premier League bid.Magnuson Ford FC will run one final season of Super Y-League youth soccer this summer, and the Premier League will play an exhibition schedule this fall. The new circuit will be fully on-stream in 2012, with a March-to-November season.Tryouts for Super Y-League teams, which will serve as a bridge to the Premier League, run this weekend. For more information, visit abbotsfordsoccer.com

Just Posted

Former U.S. Olympian urges audience at TWU to stay true to themselves

‘I made the decision to lie,’ says Marion Jones

Rainfall warning issued across Lower Mainland into the weekend

50 to 70 mm of rain expected to fall starting overnight Friday and into Sunday morning

Husband pleads guilty in relation to 2009 killing of Kulwinder Gill

Abbotsford woman died in hit-and-run conspiracy

Crash closes 264 Street in both directions

Crash closes 264 Street during afternoon commute on Thursday

‘Hearties’ descend on Langley

Fans of TV show ‘When Calls the Heart’ have gathered in Langley for the Hearties Family Reunion

VIDEO: ‘Lyle the singing pig’ searching for home

SPCA say the pig is ‘not opera-ready’

Man in custody linked police search near Salmon Arm

Police have not connected arrest to search at Salmon River Road property

‘Hearties’ descend on Langley

Fans of TV show ‘When Calls the Heart’ have gathered in Langley for the Hearties Family Reunion

B.C. search groups mobilize for missing mushroom picker

Searchers from across the province look for Frances Brown who has been missing since Oct. 14.

Search for missing B.C. man a race against winter weather

David Jeff of Williams Lake was last seen in Kamloops during the chaotic wildfire evacuations

Man steals police car, goes for a ‘slow’ ride

Mission RCMP say the motive of the theft is unknown

Dodgers punch ticket to World Series

This will be the first time the Los Angles Dodgers have made it to the World Series since 1988.

Surf group winning the war on plastic bags

The Tofino Co-op will no longer provide plastic bags, following in the footsteps of the Ucluelet location that already made the change earlier this year.

All three victims identified in Fernie arena ammonia leak

Wayne Hornquist and Lloyd Smith were from Fernie and Jason Podloski from Turner Valley, Alta

Most Read