Group fitness session during training camp in Tofino, B.C. this year. Players will don ‘starfish purple,’ for home games and ‘lagoon blue,’ and ‘lighthouse white’ for away. (Pacific FC)

Pacific FC puts its best foot forward for inaugural game

Players ‘counting down’ to kick-off day

Langford-based Canadian Premier League club, Pacific FC, is having its inaugural game this weekend, and the opening celebration is unlike anything the area has ever seen, according to the team’s executive vice president of operations.

“April 28 is going to be one of the most exciting days – not only in Langford – for Greater Victoria, by having a professional soccer team playing their first game,” said Brad Norris-Jones.

Tickets are trending toward a sellout, he added.

Gates will open at 1 p.m. for the inaugural game, three hours before kickoff. Performances from Stages Performing Arts & the Military Dixie Land Band will liven up the fans ahead of the match and help carry out celebrations.

ALSO READ: VIDEO: ‘Stewie the Starfish’ mascot revealed at Premier League kickoff party

After the match, Towers & Trees and Deep Sea Gypsies are leading a post-game concert and an 18-minute firework show will be capping off the festivities. “So it is a full day of activities,” Norris-Jones said. “I’m not sure if the public really understands what we put into this, but it’s taken us to near-two months of getting everything in line, from the small details.”

“It’s something the community can be really proud of,” he added. Preparation for the festivities have been underway since Feb. 1.

ALSO READ: Pacific FC to get former Cincinnatti FC player, new goalkeeping coach

The CPL was founded in 2017 as a way to capitalize on the excitement for soccer in North America coming on the heels of growing viewership in professional soccer over recent years. This April marks the new national professional men’s soccer league’s official opening. Seven clubs from five provinces will play for the CPL championship as well as against premier Canadian clubs from other leagues in the Canadian Championship.

Expansions to the Westhills Stadium, which is getting ready to seat 5,000 fans on opening day, with room for an additional 1,000 upon completion of the stands, makes Langford an obvious choice for Pacific FC to call home, Norris-Jones said.

The players themselves are getting settled, said Pacific striker Marcus Haber. “I think we’re looking sharp…everyone’s counting down the days,” he said, adding that the mood in the locker room is “quite high.”

“You’re going to see on opening day that everyone’s gonna be ready to go.”

ALSO READ: Pacific FC signs 3 new players in past 3 days

Joining a team in its inaugural season, and having to build it from the ground up, is a daunting task that, nonetheless, makes for a chance to do something special.

“It’s an exciting opportunity that’s never gonna happen again,” noted Haber. “I think opening day is one that all the players are going to remember for the rest of their lives.”

The biggest challenge, Haber said, is “understanding that it’s going to be a grind… it’s not going to be easy.” The sweat and strain involved in a lengthy regular season, which for the club will run until October, is a message the veteran is going to pass down to the younger players, he added. At least for now, the team seems more focused on improving their cohesion and conditioning over whatever the opponent has planned.

“The staff’s done a good job of managing everyone. And we’re going to be firing on all cylinders,” Haber said.

Pacific FC’s inaugural game is set for April 28 at 4 p.m. against the HFX Wanderers at Westhills Stadium.

swikar.oli@goldstreamgazette.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

SidFest 7 ready to rock the Mary Winspear Centre

The Bankes Brothers and Madrona Drive headlining May 24 concert

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

Mad Hatter’s Ball offers laughs in support of Boys and Girls Club

Annual fundraising event features improv performances at McPherson Playhouse May 24

Penelakut filmmaker Steve Sxwithul’txw finds success in film and TV

Cop-turned-storyteller reaches back to his past for Tribal Police Files

Choir offers a capella take on Beatles hits

Soundings will perform concerts in Oak Bay and Sidney May 24 and 25

VIDEO: Horseshoe pitching association appeals to Greater Victora youngsters

Youth horseshoe pitching club offers fun for all ages, says GVHPA

Canadian killed in Honduras plane crash

The crash happened in the Roatan Islands area, according to officials

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Vancouver Island MusicFest: ‘House bands’ from the golden age of rock and R&B

Some of America’s greatest session musicians are coming to the Comox Valley this summer

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another child at a Surrey park

The child was later released into his parents’ custody as Surrey RCMP continue their investigation

Most Read