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The OPDL Spotlight Series - United FA

By OSA News, 06/27/16, 5:30PM EDT


The United FA, operated by Pickering Soccer Club (PSC), has been an OPDL license holder since the winter of 2013. In addition to the full-time and part-time coaching staff already working with United, the Club has hired a large number of qualified technical and administrative personnel in order to meet and deliver the high standards expected by this program. United FA currently has four OPDL teams and several National B License coaches on staff.

What has been the OPDL's impact on your club?

OPDL's impact on the PSC has been critical as it has raised the bar of coaching, players, administration and everyone else involved. OPDL’s standards-based league has a variety of Clubs across the province improving the quality of soccer being played and that is amazing for all involved. The PSC has benefitted as our players have another pathway which will help them improve on and off the field. The amount of hours around development for individuals and teams is a positive step in the right direction.

What is something people should know about your OPDL program specifically?

Our program specifically is all about developing the individual player and allowing them to fulfill pathways based on their goals, whether that is an active healthy lifestyle, attain an NCAA scholarship or potentially play for our country. The players all know that these are all attainable goals. The players will also be held accountable for their development. I also specifically track the girls on a variety of soccer-related issues by using journals.

What is your biggest achievement in OPDL?

My biggest achievement in OPDL would have to be the development of our girls and how they have gelled into a cohesive unit. The girls have all come in from different pathways and all bring unique skill sets and personalities to the team. The girls are in a competitive environment and make each other strive to maximize their potential daily. It's awesome to watch all the players develop at their own paces.

Share a story of a difference maker within your OPDL program

A difference-maker in my OPDL program has to be the players’ supportive parents. The parents completely trust me with their daughters when it comes to preparing and developing them for the next level. To be clear, this is a difficult challenge as working with parents presents a variety of issues. I have an open door policy and I speak truthfully to the parents. Some things are easier to hear than others but at the end of the day it's all about improving the players and taking them to the next level based on each player’s commitment, heart and desire.

What makes you different than the other 20 OPDL License Holder clubs?

Our club administration team has been working tirelessly to keep our PSC family of younger players’ parents in the loop by having OPDL parent info nights to highlight what the standards-based league has to offer. Q&A also allows parents to ask PSC admin and coaches tough questions about OPDL. Younger players on the sub roster get to train in the environment and travel with the team, just so they can get a taste of what to expect. Our user-friendly website is also another valuable resource which parents can navigate and find out more information regarding OPDL.

Contributor - Elvis Thomas

Coach Elvis Thomas has been a coach with the Pickering Soccer Club (PSC) for nine years. He holds a Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) B License and a wealth of elite international playing experience.

Coach Elvis is a former Canadian national team member, including being on the roster for Canada’s 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup victory.