A high-calibre sports team has announced it will be calling Okotoks home, starting this season.
Calgary Foothills FC, which is part of the 72-team Premier Development League (PDL,) recently announced they'll be playing their home soccer games at the Foothills Composite High School field. The team, coached by Tommy Wheeldon Jr., is currently competing in the United Kingdom.
Rob Jenkins, operations manager for Foothills FC, says the team has been looking for a new permanent home for awhile now, after playing out of various Calgary stadiums over the past several years. He explains they've been searching for a stadium that also meets PDL's minimum standards in terms of seating capacity, press box, locker room and showers and lighting.
And he says both the field at Foothills Composite High School, and the community of Okotoks, fit the bill.
"From our initial conversations with the community and potential business sponsors, people have really loved the idea of bringing the sport of soccer at a high level to Okotoks," Jenkins says. "We've had a lot of support and we're really excited about the opportunities."
Foothills FC is made up of about 18-20, U23-aged soccer players and Jenkins points out that several of them have already played at the national level for Team Canada. In 2016, the team made it to the league championship game, which Jenkins says they lost, in a heart-breaker, by one goal to Michigan. He says local soccer fans can expect to see the same high-quality level of competition from the team again this year.
"Kind of the marquee signing we've had, there are a couple of them so far that we've announced, was Nik Ledgerwood," Jenkins says. "He's actually played for the national team, Team Canada, 50 times over the course of his career so far."
Jenkins says another exciting prospect is goalkeeper and Olympic bronze medalist Stephanie Labbe who will be trying out for the team and could potentially become the only female player in the PDL league.
Starting May 5, Foothills FC will be hosting a preseason game in Okotoks against Edmonton FC, followed by the regular season kick-off the following weekend against the Victoria Highlanders. There will be seven home games in the regular season, with playoffs following in mid-July.
Season tickets are currently on sale at a cost of $75 for adults and $25 for youth. Game day tickets will also be available, starting April 1, at a cost of $15 for adults and $5 for youth.
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