With its winter futsal season already in full swing, the Williams Lake Youth Soccer Association (WLYSA) is busy laying the groundwork for what’s in store for players once they’re able to get back onto the pitch this spring.
Early registration is currently underway with the spring, outdoor season set to begin in late April or early May depending on field and weather conditions.
WLYSA technical director Oliver Hitch said they are planning for a full return to contact play and practices by that time, but are prepared for anything.
“We’re planning for it to be a basically normal season and then we can make any adjustments we need to make if necessary,” Hitch said. “We’ve now got experience doing everything with social distanced soccer so, if it does stay the way it is, there’s lots of space on the field and it’ll be a bit easier. There are lots of resources now [for coaches and players]. Before it was all brand new, and we were kind of making it up as we went along.”
The WLYSA’s winter indoor futsal season, meanwhile, got underway at the beginning of January with sessions running Monday and Wednesday evenings at the Lake City Secondary School’s Williams Lake Campus.
Hitch said things have been going extremely well — noting in some ways socially-distanced soccer can be better for player skill development.
“Most of the time the kids have a ball to themselves,” Hitch said.
“They get quite a few more touches on a ball, rather than, sometimes in a game where they might not touch the ball for 40 minutes. There’s a bit more passing, and we are still able to use goalkeepers so we can do shooting. The only thing we can’t do is tackle.”
He noted as coaches have developed techniques for coaching socially-distanced soccer, things have become progressively easier.
The spring rep season, meanwhile, remains up in the air for Williams Lake FC youth divisions.
“I’m really optimistic, even if it’s not exactly as normal. Even if restrictions stay the way they do we’ve still got lots we can do.”
Registration for the spring season is underway at www.wlysa.com.