Whitehorse Daily Star

Image title

Photo by Dustin Cook

SELECTS SHOWCASE – The U-16 Selects club play in an intersquad game Thursday at the Yukon Selects showcase.

Selects welcome home players with showcase

Athletes who have left the territory to continue their sport elsewhere have bound down on the Yukon for the holidays,

By Dustin Cook on December 27, 2017

Athletes who have left the territory to continue their sport elsewhere have bound down on the Yukon for the holidays, and the Yukon Selects FC hosted a soccer showcase to welcome back their players.

Four friendly games were held Thursday evening at the Canada Games Centre for the different Yukon Selects teams that are continuing to grow.

Jake Hanson, who has been a coach with the club and also runs Total Soccer Excellence Academy in Whitehorse, said the showcase idea started in December 2000 to introduce a male Canada Games soccer team the territory was sending for the first time ever.

“We put a men’s selects team together to play the Canada Games boy’s team,” Hanson explained. “This is the first year we’ve had four games.”

The addition of the games is to show some of the younger teams just starting to officially develop in the past year, Hanson said, with the U-16 and U-13 youth teams.

The night started off with intersquad games between two of the younger teams with the U-13 Selects boy’s team split up to take on each other followed by the U-16 boy’s team.

Then the U-18 Selects and women’s team took on the U-16 Selects girl’s team before the main event featuring the men’s Selects team taking on a team of past and future Selects, with a wide range of ages.

The men’s team was put together earlier in the year specifically for the futsal nationals, which will be the first time for the territory.

This showcase during the holiday season was a chance for the older players who have gone off to play post-secondary soccer to come back and play in front of their friends and families.

Hanson said four Yukoners are currently playing outside the territory at a post-secondary level and the territory has seen about 60 players in the last 15 years leave for this opportunity.

Skyler Bryant was one of the players back to play for the first time since leaving the territory for Nova Scotia as a member of the Dalhousie University Tigers soccer team.

Following the season, Bryant began making the transition to his second varsity sport, track and field where he will be a sprinter for the Tigers.

But not all Selects alumni were able to make it back for the holiday showcase games. Callum Wood-Ryan is studying and playing soccer in England and Hanson said he was on his way back the following day.

Wood-Ryan is currently in his second year of the i2i International Soccer Academy allowing him to continue playing the game he loves competitively and also getting a post-secondary education through York St. John University.

Fellow Whitehorse player Tyler Milton will be making the jump to the same program next season and will join the ranks as yet another player from the territory to get an opportunity to continue his soccer career.

Milton, 17 years old and still in high school, was the youngest player on the Yukon’s men’s Selects team at the National Club Championships in October.

In a busy year for the Selects club, Hanson said this was the first time that official Yukon Selects youth teams were sent to represent the territory on the national level.

He explained teams have been put together in the past, but they weren’t through the Selects club.

Moving into the new year, the teams will be focused on the indoor game of futsal with the men’s team gearing up for nationals in April.

As for the youth Selects teams, many of the players will be preparing for the upcoming Arctic Winter Games.

Before the showcase, five Selects teams took part in the Vancouver Futsal Winter Jamboree in Richmond, B.C from Dec. 16-17.

Playing against high-level teams from B.C., as a whole the club finished with 12 wins and four losses.

Be the first to comment

Add your comments or reply via Twitter @whitehorsestar

In order to encourage thoughtful and responsible discussion, website comments will not be visible until a moderator approves them. Please add comments judiciously and refrain from maligning any individual or institution. Read about our user comment and privacy policies.

Your name and email address are required before your comment is posted. Otherwise, your comment will not be posted.