Lakeland FC impress with 3rd place finish, indoor soccer teams prepare for Provincials

Lakeland FC U15 Tier II. Back Row (L to R): Bradon Wolgien (Assistant Coach), Nate Wolgien, Tanner Dadey, Jayden Larocque, Ben Warren, Etienne Bourgoin, Jaren Conrad, Jose Texeira (Head Coach), Tara Finnestad (Assistant Coach). Front Row (L to R): Johnny Murenje, Nick Howrish, Brody Finnestad, Lucius Plamandon, Aiden Lawton. Front: Jonah Teixeira.

A group of skilled 13 and 14-year-old soccer players have seen their indoor season come to an end.

Lakeland FC, a regional team playing in a Tier II league in Edmonton, finished third in the league against 14 other strong squads.

“We’re all very pleased with the results from a community-driven team that goes and plays against teams that in some cases they pick and choose from hundreds of kids and they have their best. And we ended up being third, that’s good,” said coach Jose Texeira.

The team is comprised of boys from Bonnyville, Lac La Biche, Cold Lake and even one from Lloydminster.

It’s the second year they’ve ran the club which is meant to give stronger competition at a higher level for players in the area.

They moved to the Edmonton league from Saskatchewan to see better teams.

“We were first in the league, but the competition wasn’t as good,” said Texeira.

“Then this year, we were early enough that we put our name into the league and they accepted us and of course after we were able to start practicing and then attending games.”

Lakeland FC’s strong play has given the area some recognition in the provincial soccer world.

Texeira believes some of these soccer stars could move on to university or college teams when they get older.

“Even the officials will go, ‘where are you guys from again? You guys have a very good team. So you guys should be very proud of your team what you can accomplish in the Lakeland community.’

“Even from spectators to referees and anyone in between they are definitely surprised that we are producing such quality games,” he said.

“I would suspect there’s potential for a few kids to make it in university or college teams. There’s definitely a few kids that stand out. Absolutely. And they definitely can go a long ways.”

Bonnyville indoor soccer teams prepare for Provincials

Meanwhile, the Tier IV community league teams have had a strong showing from Bonnyville.

The U15 team and U13 boys will represent the area at Alberta Soccer Provincials next weekend.

They punched their tickets with victories at Lakeland Cup on Feb. 22-23.

The U11s cannot advance to Provincials since there is no tournament for their age group, but earned participation medals to cap off their season.

The U13 girls just missed out on a Lakeland Cup win with a silver medal on the weekend, but at Slush Cup in Edmonton salvaged a gold medal for their efforts.

The U13 girls team poses with their gold medals at Slush Cup.

Plus, the U19 team won bronze at the Slush Cup.

Registrations for outdoor season

The Bonnyville Soccer Association is accepting registrations for the outdoor season now and are encouraging parents to sign up their child online.

You have until March 31 to register in outdoor.

Lakeland FC will also be hosting tryouts for the outdoor season.

“We’re gonna be having tryouts right for the outdoor. I might get to talk to the other team officials that we have but probably towards the end of March.

“I think the soccer is going great. And if you ever going by the Bonneville Soccer Association clubhouse it’s open in the evenings for coffee and hot chocolate, whatever that may look like so come on in and join us for a drink or a hot chocolate.”