Head coaches now confirmed for 2017 Rebels

Shane Beatty announces he will return to run the team's defence.

It’s the off-season, but the Westshore Rebels have been pretty active of late.

The B.C. Football Conference team further solidified its coaching staff this week with the confirmation that assistant head coach Shane Beatty will be back for the 2017 season.

The vocal defensive co-ordinator, who serves as the team’s strength and conditioning coach and director of player personnel, is currently operating the Westshore Training Academy in a space that also serves as the Rebels’ year-round training facility on West Shore Parkway.

Newly hired head coach Charley Cardilicchia is excited that Beatty will be back to work with him as the Rebels defend their BCFC Cullen Cup championship crown.

“He brings a lot of other factors to the table for sure. At the end of the day, he’s had experience as a head coach and has a following with the players,” Cardilicchia said.

“Our ability to develop the talent this year is going to be second to none in the CJFL, and you won’t find a team that works harder than us in practise,” he added.

Reflecting on his own view of the club from the perspective of having played for the Rebels and coached with them as an assistant on three separate occasions, Cardilicchia likes where the team is headed.

Having observed the club go through financial difficulties and have a hard time attracting players, to the point where last season bills were getting paid and players were keen to come to Langford, the future looks bright, he said.

“Now that we’ve got ourselves a direction and a plan for moving forward … I think with Shane Beatty and the rest of the coaching staff, we’ve got a tremendous group of leaders.”

Cardilicchia, 36, gave kudos to his predecessor J.C. Boice, for setting the building blocks in place and helping the club reach a point where it could compete with any junior football team in the country.

The Rebels will have a hard time duplicating last season’s performance, which saw them roll through the regular season and reach the Canadian Bowl championship game, where they lost 37-25 to the perennial powerhouse Saskatoon Hilltops.

This season, with the Ontario conference coming back into the Canadian Junior Football League fold, that province will host the Canadian Bowl, meaning the B.C. and Prairie Football Conference champions will have to duke it out for the right to play for a national title.