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

Just Posted

Langley Rotarians work for clinics in Kenya

Local Rotary Clubs are asking locals to think of others at Christmastime.

Three days in the ER, not uncommon in Abbotsford: report

One in 10 admitted patients spends more than 69 hours in emergency

Man accused of shooting at border agents loses final bid to appeal extradition order

Nathan Hall was arrested in Abbotsford following cross-border manhunt in 2013

#MeToo at work: B.C. women share horrifyingly common sexual assaults

It happens to more people than you might think and impacts women inside and outside of the workplace

Bears will be flying as Giants get set for Teddy Bear Toss

Stuffed animals will be collected at Langley Events Centre, distributed through Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

Debt-to-household-income ratio rises in third quarter

Total household credit market debt grew to $2.11 trillion in the third quarter

B.C. Mountie told to resign after texting teenage sex assault victim

RCMP documents say Const. Brian Eden sent sexually inappropriate photos to 17-year-old girl

Family doctors should learn to treat addiction, not shun patients: scientist

B.C. Centre on Substance Use’s Dr. Evan Wood said efforts underway to change addiction medicine image

Update: Small fire near Maple Ridge tent city

Occurred outside camp Wednesday night

Four dog deaths investigated in Cranbrook

One vet suggests a parallel to these deaths and similar ones in 2016

Meningococcal disease outbreak declared in Okanagan

Five cases in last six months among 15- to 19-year-olds, including one in Vernon

Military life gives way to chance as author

Retired Chilliwack officer pens book about life in Afghanistan

Province rejects Ajax mine in Kamloops

KGHM Ajax had proposed a 1,700-hectare open-pit copper and gold mine, just southwest of Kamloops

Most Read