Duncan player stars for Whitecaps Academy

Duncan’s Zavier Hurson was named one of two 2016 players of the year for the Whitecaps FC Upper Island Academy Centre earlier this fall.

Duncan’s Zavier Hurson was named one of two 2016 players of the year for the Whitecaps FC Upper Island Academy Centre earlier this fall.

With the Whitecaps Academy, the 12-year-old attacking midfielder has risen from grassroots programs to the EA Sports BC Soccer Premier League.

“His enthusiasm and love for the game never waivers,” Hurson’s coaches said in a statement on the academy website. “Zavier is brave in possession, is always a constant attacking threat and works hard out of possession. Along with his family, Xavier is dedicated to improving his game and now trains with us out of the Lower Island Academy to continuehis development while playing in the BCSPL.”

The Upper Island Whitecaps academy is held at Nanoose Bay’s Arbutus Meadows Equestrian Centre during the fall and winter before moving outdoors in the spring.

“First and foremost we are a supplementary training,” said Kevin Lindo, the Whitecaps FC Academy’s Vancouver Island coach. “We don’t take them away from their clubs, we just offer an extra night of training and a bit of exposure to the way the Whitecaps do things.”

Lindo said the academy offers flexibility. Players don’t have to train there year-round, and might come in and out depending on when they have the need or desire for additional practice.

“We try and provide the young players here a platform and a pathway to get some exposure over there if they would like it,” Lindo said.

The academy is for boys and girls from U8-U18. There is an evaluation component to registration.

With files from Black Press