New crop of players enter Women’s National EXCEL Program


The young female players just entering the national development stream are the first to experience the new way of developing national talent from bottom to top and 30 players have been called into the first U-13/U-15 camp for Canada Soccer Women’s National EXCEL Program, presented by Bell.

Some of the players already have some international experience from this past year as Canada competed at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Costa Rica 2014 as well as the inaugural 2014 CONCACAF Under-15 Girls Championship, but for all players invited, the goal is to lay the technical groundwork as the players start to work their way through the Women’s EXCEL Program, Canada’s top performance player development stream.

“This is the first Women’s National EXCEL group to go through the system bottom to top, we’ve got our national curriculum now, and this is the first camp where it’s implemented with the whole five to six years ahead of them in the system,” said Head Coach Bev Priestman. “I’m looking for them to really embrace the DNA strands that we’re trying to implement and embark on that growth mindset that we talk about to commit to their weaknesses and putting the jigsaw pieces in long term. And this is the start of it.”

Players arrived into the Fortius Sport and Health complex in Burnaby, BC, on Wednesday 19 November with the first day of training the next day. The group will go through training every day until camp wraps up on Wednesday 26 November.

In addition to on-field sessions, the group will experience curriculum across all four development corners, with fitness testing, strength and conditioning, and mental development workshops.

“We’re not working towards a specific competition or a short-term outcome. These players are entering a system which has curriculum broken across different stages and environments, designed to develop Canadian ‘Gold Medal Profile’ players” said Priestman. “The exciting thing is that majority of these players are going to go back to a Regional EXCEL Centre environment where they live our curriculum every day. That’s the exciting part for me that I didn’t have in the last cycle (FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup),” said Priestman.

To further the harmonization of the curriculum across the country, Regional EXCEL Centres staff from provinces will also be in attendance as part of their ongoing training and development.

As part of Canada’s Women’s EXCEL Program, the Canada Soccer Women’s National EXCEL Program, presented by Bell, brings together the best with the best at the national level. Operating in six-year cycles across the U-14 to U-17 and U-18 to U-20 age groups, it is designed to deliver an aligned talent structure and system that progresses more top players to Canada’s Women’s National Team, more often.

GK- Jazmiera Ditter | CAN / Bonivital Soccer Club (MB)
GK- Faith O’Neill | CAN / Mountain United FC (BC)
GK- Lysianne Proulx | CAN / Rousillon (QC)
GK- Marissa Zucchetto | CAN / Erin Mills SC (ON)
D- Bryana Buttar | CAN / Fraser Valley FC (BC)
D- Samantha Chang | CAN / Brams United SC (ON)
D- Sophie Damian | CAN / Mountain United FC (BC)
D- Kennedy Faulknor | CAN / Unionville Milliken SC (ON)
D- Kavina Ganeshan | CAN / Unionville Milliken SC (ON)
D- Sarah Ochitwa | CAN / Saskatchewan Soccer Association High Performance Development Centre (SK)
D- Emma Regan | CAN | Mountain United FC (BC)
D- Cecilia Way | CAN / Vancouver Island Wave (BC)
M- Nahida Baalbaki | CAN / Lakeshore SC (QC)
M- Danielle Camilleri | CAN / Dixie SC (ON)
M- Julia Grosso | CAN / Mountain United FC (BC)
M- Marika Guay | CAN / Association de soccer de Saint-Lambert (QC)
M- Anyssa Ibrahim | CAN / CS Terrebonne (QC)
M- Mya Jones | CAN / Calgary Foothills SC (AB)
M- Vital Kats | CAN / Unionville Milliken Soccer Club (ON)
M- Kayla Mostowich | CAN / Edmonton Strikers Soccer Club (AB)
M- Karlie Sauer | CAN / Calgary Foothills SC (AB)
M- Caitlin Shaw | CAN / Coquitlam Metro Ford SC (BC)
M- Sarah Stratigakis | CAN / Woodbridge SC (ON)
F- Teni Akindoju | CAN / Halifax Dunbrack SC (NS)
F- Shana Flynn | CAN / Brams United SC (ON)
F- Camila Gomez | CAN / Mountain United FC (BC)
F- Jordyn Huitema | CAN / Surrey United SC (BC)
F- Emma Lee | CAN / Calgary Foothills SC (AB)
F- Lauren Raimondo | CAN / Burlington SC (ON)
F- Fallon Rodrigues | CAN / Ajax Dynamite (ON)

Scott Harrigan
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