Amazing things are happening in Calgary when it comes to the world of soccer. Foothills FC is on the cusp of bringing back professional men’s ball with the inaugural season of their U-23 PDL squad.
On the women’s side, Calgary West Soccer Club will be hosting the U-20 Ghana national team for a number of weeks in June and July. Ghana will be taking part in this summer’s U-20 Women’s World Cup in Canada and they find themselves in Group A alongside the Canadian team.
The international team will also be holding a soccer camp while they are in Calgary. The camps will be under the direction of current Ghana head coach Bashiru Hayford and Emmanuel Kwasi Afranie, former Ghana coach, who is currently part of the Ghana Football Association Juvenile Technical Committee. They’ll work along side Calgary West FC technical director Henry Haeusler. The Ghana national team players will lead the training sessions.
During their stay in Calgary, Ghana will also take part in a number of friendlies as they prepare for the U-20 Women’s World Cup in August. A Canada Day match will feature Ghana going head-to-head with the Callies Major squad from the AMSL. The Callies roster is made of players who have played on soccer scholarships across North America, including Ranee Premji, who won the NCAA Championship with the North Carolina Tar Heels in 2012.
The Ghana squad will be in Calgary from June 29th to July 21st. They open the U-20 Women’s World Cup in Toronto on August 5th against Canada.
Short editorial-type comments: Calgary has this odd perception amongst some of the soccer ranks that the sport, particularly the women’s side, isn’t popular here. I have no idea where this originated because it simply isn’t true. A lot of great Canadian players have come out of Calgary including Erin McLeod, Taryn Swiatek and Christine Latham. There are many youngsters on the cusp of doing great things too, including recent U-17 Women’s World Cup standout Sarah Kinzner from Foothills SC.
People in this city care. They care a lot. As someone who has played from CMSA to CIS and now twilight years in CWSA, I can first hand tell you there’s tremendous passion and following for women’s soccer in Calgary. You see it every time a summer camp is held, during outdoor and indoor provincials or even when a national coaching conference is hosted here. It’s amazing to see what the Calgary West and Calgary Callies clubs are doing to bring high calibre women’s teams and players here. Kudos to them and everyone involved.