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  • Writer's pictureElise Coates

First Game of the Season! HFC vs. Burnaby FC

It’s almost game day! The team’s got their training kits yesterday and are fitted and ready for action. Harbourside’s mens and womens teams prepare to head to the mainland on Sunday to play against Burnaby FC. Burnaby FC is a new club to the league and Harbourside is excited to be their first opponent. The men’s coach Kevin Lindo says he’s “had the opportunity to get to know the Burnaby staff over the last few years and they always create a good environment and play quality football. They’ve been setting standards for a while now and developing excellent players, so it’s no surprise to see them in League1, no doubt they’ll be a big test come Sunday.” 

A note from our technical lead, Daragh Fitzgerald:

“Our Harbourside men's and women's teams have been hard at work in recent weeks to improve upon their debut season in League 1 BC. We are excited to travel to Burnaby FC for BFCs first ever League 1 game this Sunday. 

There are lots of new faces on both HFC teams, from Vancouver Island and further afield, and we will be working extremely hard to make Nanaimo and the whole of Vancouver Island proud with our performances this season. We are the only League 1 team on the island this year which brings a bit of added responsibility to represent to the best of our abilities. 

Looking forward to seeing everyone at our home opener on May 4th!”

The 2024 season is a big one for the women’s team. Yesterday, Concacaf announced the qualification criteria for the Confederation’s inaugural Concacaf W Champions Cup. Seven teams have secured a spot, one of which is the 2023 League1 Women’s Inter-Provincial Championship Winner, Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Could Harbourside be the next League1 champions and qualify for next year’s event, allowing them to compete against women from all over North America? The champion of the Concacaf W Champions Cup earns a slot at the new FIFA Women’s Club World Cup.

As Coach Kevin Lindo notes, "[w]e were happy to keep some key members of the squad from last year, so there’s going to be some decent continuity. We also have a lot of new faces from all over the island and a few that have come from across the country. The last few weeks have been an opportunity to work on how we want to play and for the lads to get to know each other. It’s a great group, very respectful, hard-working and skilful. As we learned from last year, we will only know how things are going to go once the season gets rolling. It’s been a fun few weeks."

Meet some of our players!

Kaiden Thorpe

Kaiden is one of HFC’s goalkeepers. When she’s not saving shots for Harbourside, she plays for Vancouver Island University’s and Nanaimo United FC’s Premier team. Her favourite moment from last year's Habourside season was the home opener because of the record number of fans in attendance. The opening game had the highest attendance in the history of the league. Let’s beat it this year at our home game on May 4! Kaiden’s biggest strength on the field is her work ethic. She is always looking to improve and learn from every shot or situation, be it game day or at practice. Kaiden’s goal coming into this year is to be in the League1 final and focus on taking the season one game at a time. 

Fergus Hall

Fergus is a centre back for the men's team, and he's ready for an exciting season! Originally from Campbell River, he plays for StFX when he's not defending for Harbourside. His favourite moment from last season was the final whistle blowing for the team's first club win in history. "Celebrating that moment with my teammates, the fans, and my family was something I'll never forget," Fergus reminisces. His goal for the season is to help lead the men's squad to playoffs.

Ella Gignac

Going into her third year of kinesiology at Vancouver Island University, Ella is a fullback and winger who plays for the University and Nanaimo United FC’s Premier team during the school year. One of Ella’s strengths on the field is her speed, so watch out for her on the wings! Her goal this season is to get one home game start. 

Cam Shaw 

Another varsity athlete who plays for StFX with Fergus, Cam is an attacking midfielder and winger. He is majoring in marketing and pursuing a Bachelor of Business. Check out the video below of a spectacular goal he scored this school season. Let's see it again, Cam, but this time wearing a Harbourside jersey! His goal this season is to make a deep run in playoffs and go for a League1 Championship title.

Above: A goal by Cam Shaw from his season earlier this year.

It's an exciting time to be a League1 player and fan! Be sure to check the new League1 app for full rosters and more details on game day.

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