Thursday , 21 October 2021

Portage kicks soccer recruitment into high gear

Claude Bolton is in for one busy spring and summer. While friends and colleagues plan their vacations and look forward to some time off, the Head Coach of the Portage College Voyageurs Soccer program will be busy scouring the globe trying to find enough student-athletes to field both a men’s and women’s squad this fall. After a year of exhibition matches, the Voyageurs are slated to begin their inaugural season in the Alberta Colleges Athletics Conference (ACAC) on September 8, 2019 on a brand-new state-of-the-art artificial turf field at the Bold Center in Lac La Biche.

Bolton, who has coached the beautiful game at every level and in several post-secondary institutions and countries, is looking not only for skilled soccer players, but also quality individuals who value education above all else. He has been travelling the province, trying to recruit student-athletes from all levels of soccer.

“We would like to have players that conduct themselves as students of the game and of life, knowing they can always strive to do better whether in the classroom or on the field,” said the former Head Coach of varsity programs at Keyano College and Trent University.

He knows it won’t be easy. When George McPhee, General Manager of the NHL’s expansion Vegas Golden Knights, pulled together his first roster in 2017, he’d had a full year to plan his lineup. Coach Bolton is trying to assemble two lineups in a matter of months.

“While some schools are directing resources to recruit between three and six student-athletes, Portage College is on the hunt for 30 to 40 within a shorter time frame,” he underlined.

To assist him with his efforts, Portage College has created a professionally-produced promotional video, highlighting the exciting opportunity to be a part of a brand-new era, a brand-new team. “See yourself here,” announces the video while a Voyageurs flag waves in the background and pulsating music plays. The video was produced by DJ Summitt, one of the primary designers of the 2018 FIFA World Cup television graphics package. The California resident noted that it is clear that Bolton and the College are passionate about becoming the premier soccer program in the ACAC.

“As an avid soccer fan, this was a dream job,” he said. “It’s been fantastic to be on the ground floor and watch the program come together. I consider myself an L.A. Galaxy, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid fan – and now a Voyageurs’ supporter!”

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