Group fitness session during training camp in Tofino, B.C. this year. Players will don ‘starfish purple,’ for home games and ‘lagoon blue,’ and ‘lighthouse white’ for away. (Pacific FC)

Pacific FC puts its best foot forward for inaugural game

Players ‘counting down’ to kick-off day

Langford-based Canadian Premier League club, Pacific FC, is having its inaugural game this weekend, and the opening celebration is unlike anything the area has ever seen, according to the team’s executive vice president of operations.

“April 28 is going to be one of the most exciting days – not only in Langford – for Greater Victoria, by having a professional soccer team playing their first game,” said Brad Norris-Jones.

Tickets are trending toward a sellout, he added.

Gates will open at 1 p.m. for the inaugural game, three hours before kickoff. Performances from Stages Performing Arts & the Military Dixie Land Band will liven up the fans ahead of the match and help carry out celebrations.

ALSO READ: VIDEO: ‘Stewie the Starfish’ mascot revealed at Premier League kickoff party

After the match, Towers & Trees and Deep Sea Gypsies are leading a post-game concert and an 18-minute firework show will be capping off the festivities. “So it is a full day of activities,” Norris-Jones said. “I’m not sure if the public really understands what we put into this, but it’s taken us to near-two months of getting everything in line, from the small details.”

“It’s something the community can be really proud of,” he added. Preparation for the festivities have been underway since Feb. 1.

ALSO READ: Pacific FC to get former Cincinnatti FC player, new goalkeeping coach

The CPL was founded in 2017 as a way to capitalize on the excitement for soccer in North America coming on the heels of growing viewership in professional soccer over recent years. This April marks the new national professional men’s soccer league’s official opening. Seven clubs from five provinces will play for the CPL championship as well as against premier Canadian clubs from other leagues in the Canadian Championship.

Expansions to the Westhills Stadium, which is getting ready to seat 5,000 fans on opening day, with room for an additional 1,000 upon completion of the stands, makes Langford an obvious choice for Pacific FC to call home, Norris-Jones said.

The players themselves are getting settled, said Pacific striker Marcus Haber. “I think we’re looking sharp…everyone’s counting down the days,” he said, adding that the mood in the locker room is “quite high.”

“You’re going to see on opening day that everyone’s gonna be ready to go.”

ALSO READ: Pacific FC signs 3 new players in past 3 days

Joining a team in its inaugural season, and having to build it from the ground up, is a daunting task that, nonetheless, makes for a chance to do something special.

“It’s an exciting opportunity that’s never gonna happen again,” noted Haber. “I think opening day is one that all the players are going to remember for the rest of their lives.”

The biggest challenge, Haber said, is “understanding that it’s going to be a grind… it’s not going to be easy.” The sweat and strain involved in a lengthy regular season, which for the club will run until October, is a message the veteran is going to pass down to the younger players, he added. At least for now, the team seems more focused on improving their cohesion and conditioning over whatever the opponent has planned.

“The staff’s done a good job of managing everyone. And we’re going to be firing on all cylinders,” Haber said.

Pacific FC’s inaugural game is set for April 28 at 4 p.m. against the HFX Wanderers at Westhills Stadium.

swikar.oli@goldstreamgazette.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sooke man Rik Downer spent two weeks in the Royal Jubilee Hospital after contracting flesh-eating bacteria. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Sooke man’s bumped knee leads to fight for life

Man unknowingly contracts case of rare flesh-eating disease

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is looking for this man, who they say stole a charity box. (Facebook/Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers)
Crime Stoppers looking for man who stole charity box from Saanich grocery store

Anyone with information asked to call Crime Stoppers

A crowd gathers at Mount Newton Cross Road and Highway 17 on Oct. 23. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Highway reopens after rally supporting Mi’kmaq fishing rights in Nova Scotia

Central Saanich demonstration interrupts Friday afternoon traffic

Victoria police Chief Const. Del Manak appreciates the efforts of residents and business owners who took part in the VicPD community survey. The questionnaire saw a combined nearly 1,000 respondents from Victoria and Esquimalt. (Black Press Media file photo)
VicPD survey says: overall satisfaction positive, accountability needs work

Respondents feel safe during day, not so much at night; more police presence would help

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. NDP leader John Horgan and B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau. (Black Press Media)
VIDEO: One day until B.C. voters go to the polls in snap election defined by pandemic

NDP Leader John Horgan’s decision to call an election comes more than a year ahead of schedule and during a pandemic

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Oct. 20

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Parksville’s Jared Huggan won $75,000 playing BC/49. (BCLC/Photo submitted)
Vancouver Island man $75K richer after purchasing winning lottery ticket at Nanaimo Walmart

Parksville’s Huggan plans to purchase electric bike for partner

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

Most Read