CHARLOTTETOWN – The Bell Aliant Atlantic all-star soccer championships kick off this week.
The P.E.I. under-13 boys and girls will head to St. John’s, N.L., while the P.E.I. under-14 boys and girls are hosting the competition in Charlottetown.
The Island teams have been training hard all winter and spring, and are looking to improve on last year’s results and bring home a championship.
This year’s under-13 boys’s team will try to get into the gold-medal match after last year’s team lost a close match against New Brunswick to finish fourth. Former UPEI Panther Danny Hill is coaching the squad, and feels they are capable of improving on last year’s placing.
The under-13 girls have one returning player from last year’s team – Nicole Doncaster from the Winsloe-Charlottetown Royals F.C. Doncaster will be urging on her teammates to strive for the gold-medal match as she remembers how close they came last year after a close 1-0 loss to Newfoundland and Labrador.
The team then lost out on a medal to Team New Brunswick in a game that finished in a penalty shootout. The team had defeated the New Brunswick side 2-1 during the round robin. Coach Mark Caudle has a squad that can contend for a place in Sunday’s final.
At home at the under-14 championships, P.E.I. coach Jonathan Vos has a large number of boys returning from last year’s under-13 squad that will look to improve on its fourth-place finish.
The girls’s team, coached by former UPEI keeper Ashley McKenna, has 10 players returning from last year. The team has a very good chance at landing a medal this year, but will be up against strong opposition from the other Atlantic provinces based on the close matches at last year’s under-13 tournament.
Host associations have partnered with Bell Aliant to provide live streaming of all the action on their Community One channel.
Games begin on Thursday and will conclude on Sunday with the gold- and bronze-medal matches.
For complete team rosters, schedules and links to the live streaming, please visit www.peisoccer.com.