Highlanders FC now have a affiliation with Vancouver Island Soccer League (VISL) Div. 1 squad Westcastle United FC, opening the doors for an increased level of playing opportunities for Highlanders athletes. The move will reward individuals who excel in the Highlanders Div. 2 team with the ability to be called-up to the Westcastle Div. 1 team for further game time to maximize their growth and development.

“I am very pleased to see this affiliation between Westcastle United and Highlanders take place,” stated Highlanders head coach Thomas Niendorf. “This affiliation is another positive step in player development and another example of clubs in the region working together towards one common goal.”

The affiliation will open up a new avenue for developing talent on the island, stresses Niendorf, who saw a number of his Pacific Elite Soccer Institute (PESI) players featuring on last year’s Westcastle squad. Players who excel in the Highlanders program throughout the Vancouver Island Soccer League (VISL) may very well find themselves competing against men in the Premier Division of the VISL.

“I am delighted to have concluded this affiliation and partnership with Victoria Highlanders,” commented Steve Hodges, founder and owner of Westcastle United. “I’ve always supported the soccer community in Victoria. By affiliating with the Highlanders to establish their youth team, we are increasing the opportunities for young players to participate in the VISL and this should improve the standard of play for all. Westcastle will gain by this association with the prestigious Highlanders and I expect this will raise our chances of reaching our own present and future goals.”

The Westcastle affiliation comes on the heels of last week’s announcement that saw the Highlanders entering a squad in the VISL’s second division. Highlanders head coach Thomas Niendorf will assume coaching duties with the new team in addition to his current role with the Highlanders Premier Development League (PDL) squad and Pacific Elite Soccer Institute (PESI).