Portage College Name Former National as First Soccer Coach

The Portage College Voyageurs men’s and women’s soccer program have announced their first coach.

Claude Bolton will be taking the reins of the Voyageurs soccer program when they play their first official games in the ACAC in 2019-20.

“I am quite honoured, privileged, and excited to be afforded the opportunity to help build the Voyageurs program as its first Head Coach of Men’s and Women’s Soccer,” said Bolton in a press release Tuesday.

Bolton has international coaching experience working for MLS teams and head coaching Canada’s and Guyana’s Men’s National Futsal teams. Earlier this year, Bolton was coaching soccer in India.

Portage College Manager of Athletics, Jim Knight, said Bolton checks many of the boxes the Voyageurs were eager to fill.

“During the process to hire our first coach we were looking for someone that had the experience of coaching in a post-secondary setting, technical background with all ages of athletes, understanding of the international student processes, ability to recruit high quality student-athletes, good communicator and organized,” said Knight.

“This is a coach with passion for the sport that will build our program from the ground up and to take on the challenge of building a competitive ACAC soccer program on both Men’s and Women’s teams.”

The Voyageurs are already taking calls on exhibition games within the next couple months. They need to play these games in order to get prepared for next season.

Currently, the women’s soccer team has 12 players, including 11 from the Lac la Biche area. Six players are confirmed on the men’s side.

It was confirmed in June that Portage College would be accepted into the ACAC soccer divisions after talks within the school began in 2012.

They will play exhibitions game at the Portage College soccer pitch until the brand new artificial turf is finished at the Bold Center in July.

Bolton is currently finishing up his Master of Education (MEd) in Coaching Studies at the University of Victoria in December. He starts next week at Portage.

Bolton played for the Guyana National team, captained the National Collegiate Athletic Association squad while on a full athletic scholarship, and competed in the National Soccer League in Canada with the Windsor Wheels.

Keyano, Grande Prairie, U of A, Olds, Lethbridge each have their soccer coach run both the men’s and women’s side.

The ACAC regular season schedule for soccer begins this weekend.