Fall soccer a go
The “beautiful game” just gained another seasonal foothold in Fort Frances.
Plans for fall soccer for both women and men are well underway, with a registration night for female players already scheduled for next Wednesday (Sept. 11) at 6 p.m. at the Memorial Sports Centre.
“Being an avid soccer lover, I was sad to see the [summer] soccer season end,” said Wilson-Hands.
“But I’m not ready for the indoor soccer season yet,” she stressed.
“It was too long an indoor season last year so I wanted to try and do some outdoor soccer in the fall.”
Wilson-Hands discussed the idea with men’s league veteran Chris Faragher, whose dad, Mark, used to take whoever wanted to play during the off-season to one of the local outdoor rinks to kick the ball around.
“I talked to Chris and we agreed we would see what we could do about it,” noted Wilson-Hands.
“Quite a few women have already been coming up to me asking about the indoor season,” she said.
“So I put the bug in their ear that we were looking at doing this and they were pretty pumped about it.”
Faragher, who has designs on the men using the outdoor rink in the east end of town, admitted he’s not quite as far along with planning as Wilson-Hands.
“We’ll probably just start it off as a drop-in scrimmage, just to see if it goes,” remarked Faragher, who hadn’t scheduled a men’s registration night as of press time yesterday.
“Five-on-five, if it happens, that would be a perfect world,” he added. “But there’s still a few things I have to iron out, for sure.
“There is a call out there for fall soccer, though,” Faragher agreed.
“It’s a good, fast game when you get playing the ball off the boards and it’s not really physical.”
Community Services manager Jason Kabel was open to the idea of fall soccer when contacted by Wilson-Hands and Faragher, and said the town has okayed the use of the outdoor rinks for it.
“This year, there will not be any costs for [the soccer groups],” said Kabel. “Going forward, we’ll measure the costs of keeping the lights on for them.
“There may be a cost down the road, but that will be determined after this year’s use.”
“We’re super pumped by the town’s contribution,” enthused Wilson-Hands. “We’re so happy they’re going to do that.
“It gets dark really early and we need the lights if we’re going to be able to play.”
Kabel added the decision on how playable the two rinks are will be a joint one between the town and soccer organizers.
“Our concern is for the health and safety of those playing,” stressed Kabel, whose staff does monthly inspection walk-throughs at the rinks.
“If they feel good about it and our staff feels good about it, they are more than welcome to use them.”
“I think it’s OK,” Wilson-Hands said regarding the playing surface at the north-end rink.
“There’s a couple of spots that would probably have to get filled in with dirt,” she noted.
“But it’s a lot like it is at [the] Struchan Gilson [pitches] so it’s nothing we’re not used to already.”
Any men interested in playing fall soccer can contact Faragher at 274-1521.