Ryan McCurdy has been named as the Van Isle Wave program’s Boys’ Technical Lead.
As Technical Lead, McCurdy will be responsible for all player activity and overall Wave technical programming. McCurdy is specializing on the male side, but will be assisting the female side as we continue our search for a female Technical Lead.
“I am thrilled to announce the appointment of Ryan as our Technical Lead,” said Shawn Fiddick, Pacific FC Executive Director of Youth Programs. “In addition to the Wave Program, Ryan will help oversee our Trident Development Programs across the Island. This is an exciting opportunity for Ryan and highlights the role of Pacific FC in terms of developing our coaches into the coaching pathway, and creating future leaders in the game across Canada.”
McCurdy, originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, is a former Pacific FC centre-back joined the club in its inaugural year and retired from professional play at the end of the season. McCurdy began his football career with the Linfield FC Academy and Ottawa Fury. He later played with Kingston FC in the Canadian Soccer League before captaining the Victoria Highlanders in the PDL. In 2017, he won a National Championship with the Vancouver Island University Mariners, where he was also named in the tournament All Star team.
Aside from his playing career, McCurdy has over 12 years of coaching experience. He has been part of the Wave and Trident programs for the past four years and has been the lead on the online Zoom training programs. He is a staff coach with the Royal Bay High School soccer academy, as well as being part of the Pacific FC first team technical staff this season. McCurdy was previously the Technical Director at Prospect Lake Soccer Club for the past two seasons.
The 31-year-old holds his CSA National B License and BC Soccer Technical Director Diploma. He is currently completing his CSA National Youth License and pursuing the CSA National A License. With his extensive playing and coaching experience, McCurdy brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to his coaching roles and is dedicated to the development of the sport at all levels.
Pacific FC today announced Shawn Fiddick as the new Executive Director of the club’s youth programs, Vancouver Island Wave and Trident Development.
Fiddick has been a mainstay of Island soccer for the last several decades and currently serves as the chair for Upper Island Soccer Association.
“This is an opportunity to join in on the momentum of Pacific FC’s youth programs while they are still building and a chance for me to give back to soccer in the region,” said Fiddick. “The opportunity to work in the sport full time and help shape the future of our young players is a dream of mine.”
Pacific FC provides training to more than 350 young people between its Van Isle Wave performance-based teams for female and male athletes aged 13 to 18, who participate in the BC Soccer Premier League, and the Trident Development Program for youth ages 8 to 14, at two locations in the South Island and one in Ladysmith.
“We are proud of our youth programs and the many pathways they create for Vancouver Island players who stand to be the next generation of players for our club and Canada,” said Paul Beirne, managing director, Pacific FC. “We are fortunate to have someone of Shawn’s pedigree come on board to continue to grow the game for young people on the Island.”
Fiddick hung up his own cleats a few years ago at age 50, but his coaching prowess in the mid-Island is legendary. He spent more than 20 years coaching youth in Nanaimo, Comox, Port Alberni, Parksville and Ladysmith. In addition to refereeing all levels of soccer including university, Fiddick has volunteered his time to the administrative side of the game through board positions at Nanaimo Youth Soccer Club and now Upper Island Soccer Association.
He has followed Pacific FC since the club launched in 2018, drawn in by the vision for the potential growth and level of professionalism Pacific FC president Josh Simpson saw for the game on the Island.
“I knew I wanted to be part of it,” said Fiddick. “I am excited that that day has now come.”
Mark Village has left Pacific FC following the conclusion of the 2022 Canadian Premier League season.
“Mark has been a pillar in our growth and development as an organization from the start. He joined us as a player in our inaugural season, then became a player-coach within our team and further grew into his role as the Head Goalkeeper Coach for our organization,” says Pacific FC head coach James Merriman.
In the club’s inaugural season, Village was the no. 1 choice in goal and started 17 matches in all competitions. The 30-year-old kept four clean sheets during the 2019 season – all of which came in the Canadian Premier League. The first of those clean sheets came in the club’s first-ever match, a 1-0 victory over HFX Wanderers FC at Starlight Stadium in which Village made a couple good saves to maintain the shutout. Village could occasionally be seen amongst the substitutes as an emergency backup following the 2019 season, but never made another appearance for the club.
Following the 2019 season, Village became the Head Goalkeeper Coach for Pacific FC. In this role Village helped further the development of first team players Callum Irving, Emil Gazdov and Nolan Wirth. Most notably during Village’s time as goalkeeper coach, Irving became one of the top goalkeepers in the CPL and ultimately earned a Golden Glove nomination in 2022 thanks to his outstanding season in goal for the Tridents. Village was also a valuable member of the technical staff when Pacific FC won the 2021 CPL championship.
“Mark has also done good work and built great relationships within his youth development role in our Powered by Pacific FC programs,” says Merriman.
“He leaves as a CPL champion with Pacific FC in our 2021 season and has been a great ambassador for our organization.”
Pacific FC and Powered by Pacific FC thank Mark for his incredible service on the pitch, on the sidelines and with the Trident Development Program during his four seasons with the club and wishes him the best of luck in the future.
VI Wave, Trident Development Program, and the wider Club and organisation of Pacific FC, wanted to make our position very clear to all: There is no room for abuse or bullying of any type in any of our programs, and such behaviours toward teammates, opponents and referee officials will not be accepted. Respect is a part of healthy sporting competition. We expect that all of our players, parents, and spectators understand and support us in removing abuse and bullying from our beloved sport!
The 2021-22 Van Isle Wave season has come to an end, and what an incredibly successful year it was.
While it should be highlighted for the success of all the youth teams, it’s important to note this was also the first full season for VI Wave under the Powered by Pacific FC umbrella.
The year began with 14 teams – seven boys teams and seven girls teams from U13 Intake to U18 level. Below are some synthesized stats from the season:
- 12 teams in the playoffs
- 6 teams in the semi-finals
- 4 teams in the finals
- 1 champion
The one champion was the U14 Boys team who won 4-2 in the final to claim the Provincial Premier Cup.
Every team and player who wore the VI Wave badge did the program proud this year. While success is not only determined by what happens on the pitch, there was plenty of that to celebrate this season. Off the pitch as well, all VI Wave athletes represented the club excellently and helped further entrenched the values of sportsmanship, teamwork, and development that are crucial to how VI Wave operates.
Another season also means another graduating class. While this moment is bittersweet, as it’s difficult to see so many fantastic players move on, it’s amazing to see just how much those players have developed as players and people regardless of how long they’ve been VI Wave athletes.
This year the 2004 Boys and Girls played their last season as members of VI Wave and were fantastic role models for the younger age groups.
To honour the U18 athletes this season, both teams were invited onto the pitch at halftime of Pacific FC’s match against Cavalry FC on June 30th as part of the Wave Graduation and Celebration Match.
Many graduating players have also already committed to continue their playing career at the university level next year.
On the Girls’ side, Rheana Desjardins, Payton Rangel, Tristan Russell and Kelsey Thexton will be playing at the University of Victoria; Amber Hawthorne is also staying on the Island at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo; Kattia Bingham and Aimee Woods are moving to Kamloops to play at Thompson Rivers University; and Maya Gibson will be at Bishop’s University in Sherbrooke, Quebec.
On the Boys’ side, Matthew Pearce is going to the Mainland to play at the University of British Columbia; Robert Hallsor will be playing at Trinity Western University in Langley; Charlie Stewart is also staying in the province and moving to the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George; and Aiden Lavery will be playing for Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.
Again, what a successful year this was! It’s all down to the incredible guidance of our coaches, the tireless work from our volunteer team managers, the dedicated support from all Wave parents, and, of course, the fantastic soccer ability and positive attitude shown by every single VI Wave athlete!
Here’s to another amazing season next year!
First Touch Football Canada (FTF) and Pacific FC have partnered together to host the Winter Wave Showcase taking place on Vancouver Island.
The Winter Wave Showcase will be held from December 2-4 2022 throughout four different locations in Langford, and will include boys and girls groups for U-17 (born-2005) and U-16 (born-2006) athletes.
Van Isle Wave, the youth teams under the umbrella of Pacific FC through the Powered by Pacific FC program, offers Vancouver Island-based players the opportunity to further their soccer development within a professional football club setup.
This showcase provides Van Isle Wave players with an additional opportunity to grow, alongside the benefits players already receive by being within the Powered by Pacific FC family.
Stuart Neely – Pacific FC Technical Director of Football
“The showcase is important to provide VI Wave Players the opportunity to be observed by several college/university coaches as they plan for their future education. Our goal is to take care of the players and offer them support as they develop through our program.”
“The ultimate goal of the showcase is trifold. It is important to bring more awareness of the footballing talent on Vancouver Island, while ensuring that we support our players and evolve our programming.”
“To be partnered with FTF is an important step in the growth of the game here on Vancouver Island as they have nationwide recognition. This brings value for the Isle in so many ways.”
About FTF: FTF is a multifaceted company with a hyper focus on Digital Media and Events. FTF aims to provide Canadian Soccer players with exposure for various types of opportunities including but not limited to Scholarships. We leverage our media expertise pre and post events to provide participating players at our events with maximum exposure and opportunities. The Winter Wave showcase in conjunction with Pacific FC was an effortless partnership as both parties are looking to bring awareness and exposure to young soccer players.
A well-respected and experienced individual in the Canadian soccer community has joined Pacific FC.
Stuart Neely joins Pacific FC as the club’s new Technical Director of Football. Neely has been involved in Canadian soccer for many years and has experience with numerous clubs and organizations. Neely has spent time with Ontario Soccer, Manitoba Soccer Association, Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Toronto FC, and the University of British Columbia along with stints in Belgium, England and New Zealand. Neely, who also served as Soccer Canada’s Manager of Coach Education from 2018-2021, joins Pacific FC to help continue the club’s growth on the Island and the development of players at all levels.
“The role itself is about growing what the technical programs are all about and how we can improve the game in the local community,” says Neely, “we want to be leaders in developing the game and to ensure that everyone is having fun doing so.”
“The biggest reason I came here was the connection the club has with the community and what they’re trying to do within the community to grow the program itself and get programs for young kids to go all the way to the first team. There needs to be that direct pathway into higher levels of play, but it was how the club were going about it to make it family-sized and have everyone involved to get more families into the game. Obviously that impacts the fanbase for the club too.”
As Technical Director Neely will be responsible for overseeing football development across all areas of Pacific FC’s community involvement. That goes from the youth teams the club manages to the first team that takes the field at Starlight Stadium.
“How the role was worded – Technical Director of Football – that really caught my eye. It’s an unusual way of saying it, it’s not just your traditional Technical Director. Immediately it gave me a sense of differentness and uniqueness.”
“It’s an all-encompassing role for me. The role itself is key to ensuring that the standards and the expectations of the first team runs through all the programs attached to Pacific FC. That’s an important piece to it because it’s not like your typical youth club that has a youth academy and a senior team. That was part of the attraction for myself, that’s part of my background. And I’ve worked with many of the Pacific players over the years so I’m very familiar with the roster. I know James well too, we have a good working relationship.”
Neely knows expectations are high for the club as defending Canadian Premier League champions and has goals set in place for next season.
“On the first team side it’s to allow James to settle into his new role – which is fantastic because it’s just another sign of the development the club believes in – and to offer the support for James. We have to get that support for our first team staff and all the players. We have to ensure that the atmosphere is positive and competitive while doing so. Then the training and the preparation to defend a championship is paramount every single day from preseason to the end of season.”
“We have to remain competitive and always be better at what we did yesterday because tomorrow there’s always someone new coming to try and take your title away from you. As a championship-winning side you have to be ready for that all the time. This season we can have all sorts of expectations but unless those cornerstones of preparation, competitive edge and positive spirit are in place we won’t have a chance to compete. We know that everyone wants that championship and we want to keep it.”
Former Van Isle Wave: Powered by Pacific player Ashley Roberts has been called up to the Canadian Women’s National Team identification camp, taking place over 10 days in Mexico.
Roberts, who grew up in Victoria and played for Bays United Soccer Club before spending time in the Van Isle Wave program, is now with the Vancouver Whitecaps REX program.
Pacific FC assistant coach and Van Isle Wave technical director James Merriman worked closely with Roberts’ and her family to help with the transition from the Van Isle Wave program to Vancouver.
“I’m not surprised,” says Merriman, “getting to know Ashley over the time we’ve been involved with the Wave, she’s very dedicated, she’s very committed, she’s a talented young player with tons of potential. She worked very hard for this opportunity and deserves it.”
Merriman has been working closely with Roberts and her family for over a year and a half as they navigated how to keep Roberts involved in the Whitecaps REX program while being unable to travel to the Mainland due to restrictions.
“She started to get some interest in training with the REX program and being involved in Vancouver with the Whitecaps. Then Covid hit and it was really difficult for her and her family, she was kind of in between. She was training with us for the majority of the last year and a half with our ‘05-Girls team and ‘06-Boys team. Then we were able to help with the transition this fall when she moved over to Vancouver full time at the beginning of September. She’s been full time with the REX program since then, and now she just got called up to the Canadian U-17 national team so she’s currently in Mexico.”
“I just think, most importantly, it’s a great opportunity for her. She deserves it, she’s worked incredibly hard. It was pretty challenging and complicated in terms of ‘where do I train? How do I keep in touch with the Vancouver group when training on the Island?’. I’ve spent a lot of time with her and her family trying to make sure she was staying on pace with where she wanted to be and where she wanted to go. It’s just nice to see her get this reward.”
Roberts is the first former Van Isle Wave player to get a national team call up, and Merriman says she’s a great example of what can be achieved by Island-born players.
“She’s the leader and an example of someone who’s come into the Van Isle Wave and progressed into the REX program with the Whitecaps. We want to encourage more and more female players to develop in the Wave program and get opportunities in the REX program and ultimately the Canadian national team. That is the pathway.”
“On the male side it’s a bit different, we develop players for the BC provincial program, of course for the Canadian national program, and for us at Pacific FC. Obviously we don’t have that on the girls’ side, so the REX program with the Whitecaps is the goal. That or graduating from there and going to university or getting professional opportunities and Canadian national team opportunities. That’s the pathway that we’re really trying to encourage with the youth. That’s what we want. Ashley’s just a great example of that, she’s the first one since we’ve been with the program that’s gone through and made that step and then been called into the national team, so it’s a big success for her and for us.”
As technical director of the Van Isle Wave, Merriman wants to use Ashley’s experience with the program as a reminder of the opportunities available to both male and female players.
“The most important thing for me is that the Wave program is just an open door for players; females who have gone onto the Whitecaps program, and on the male side with the BC provincial program.”
“And for me, as the technical director for the program, it just shows other players what opportunities there are out there and that you can do it from the Island. You can get those bigger opportunities and take those steps if that’s what you want and you work hard for them. She’s a great example of someone who’s progressed through our program and taken those bigger opportunities. It’s an example for other players on the Island.”
The Island Training Centre – Powered by Pacific is excited to be back hosting Soccer, Baseball and Multi-Sport Camps, sponsored by Prince of Whales – Whale Watching! Soccer Camps will be run by Pacific FC & Wave coaches while Baseball and Multi-Sport camps will be directed and coached by ITC GM Charlie Strandlund, Anthony Pluta and guest coaches.
With each summer camp registration you will receive a 50% off voucher for a youth seat on a Prince of Whales – Whale Watching Tour (limit 1 per family).
Visit the link below to see all of the ITC’s Summer Sports Camps.