October 18, 2013, Victoria, B.C. (ISN) – Highlanders Director of Youth Development Neil Sedgwick will travel to Florida with the U-17 Women’s National Team as an assistant coach in preparation for the CONCACAF Women’s U-17 World Championship held in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
The tournament kicks off on October 30th. Canada’s first match is one day later when they take on Guatemala. Also in Canada’s group is Trinidad and Tobego, as well as the United States, who they will play on November 2nd and November 4th, respectively. Last year’s U-17 squad finished with a silver medal from Ciudad de Guatemala.
Sedgwick’s selection as part of the national program gives the Highlanders organization a tangible connection to Soccer Canada. This connection not only verifies the Highlanders as a prominent football entity in the nation, but also gives them an abundance of room to grow in terms of both youth development and high-performance soccer.
“We’re very happy for Neil to get this opportunity to join the national team for these championships,” said Highlanders General Manager Mark de Frias. “We all think that Neil is a fantastic coach and his ability to help young athletes improve their skills and achieve their goals is something that we’re proud of as an organization. It’s a real feather in our cap to say that we have a coach with this kind of experience here in Victoria.”
This will be Sedgwick’s second stint with the national team, after being part the Women’s U-17 team’s trip to Azerbaijan for the 2012 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. His experience in international competition will provide growth for himself that he will then be able to bring back to the Highlanders Youth Program
“It’s always a privilege to be part of the national team’s program,” said Sedgwick. “Much was learned in my first campaign through World Cup qualification. We always ask our players to challenge themselves and take risks. I think that for any coach going to work with the national team’s program is a challenge but it’s one that upon return I’ll hopefully bring back more lessons for the players as well as more system development within the club.”