Pair of Soccer Apprentices Return In 2022
The following story from the CCAA website from September 15, 2022 by Rodney Wilson, https://www.ccaa.ca/sports/wsoc/2022-23/releases/facp_2022. The article checks in with a former feature coach from postcoach.ca, Danielle Cyr at Mount Saint Vincent University (MSVU) with the Mystics in the ACAA and her apprentice coach in the east and in the west Robby Toor with his apprentice coach Nisha Samra with the Douglas College Royals.
A pair of Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) soccer apprentices will return this season for a second year of mentorship in the Female Apprentice Coach Program (FACP).
The FACP, which is funded in part by Sport Canada, is designed to identify and support female graduating student-athletes who demonstrate the desire and skills for coaching by providing them opportunities to share in the coaching experience in the CCAA.
In the Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA), Abbey MacLeod (pictured above), will be mentored once again by Danielle Cyr at Mount Saint Vincent University (MSVU) with the Mystics.
Having the opportunity to work on the pitch with student-athletes she helped recruit from high school to MSVU was a highlight for MacLeod last season.
“Seeing how the recruitment process affected their lives in a positive way is the most rewarding thing I’ve experienced in my career to date,” she said. “Helping match our players to MSVU, and candidates to jobs in my new position, then seeing them succeed is the best feeling.”
MacLeod experienced positive growth over the past year working with the Women’s Soccer program at MSVU and was an integral part in leading the Mystics goalkeepers.
With the completion of her Canada Soccer C Licence certification, she will now be counted on to move beyond her position-specific expertise to take on a bigger role with the rest of the team as she continues to develop her technical and tactical understanding of the game.
“As we continue to ensure our program is a safe place where young female coaches can grow, develop, and lead, taking part in the CCAA FACP program for a second year will allow us to best support fostering Abbey’s coaching skills, leadership attributes and her own self-belief while she works with our team,” said Cyr, who will also continue to support all FACP participants with her successful program ‘Developing Future Leaders’ this season.
Meanwhile, over in the Pacific Western Athletic Association (PACWEST), Nisha Samra, (pictured left), will be mentored once again by Robby Toor with the Men’s Soccer team at Douglas College.
Samra was honoured to be part of the Women’s Soccer program at Douglas, where she was a student-athlete for five seasons. Her Royals teams enjoyed plenty of success, earning a PACWEST title in 2017 and participating in three consecutive CCAA Championships.
“I believe going to nationals three years in a row has given me the experience and knowledge to compete at high stakes as well as high-pressure tournament, which assisted me in my first year as an apprentice coach,” she said.
Samra would ultimately return to nationals once again last season as the PACWEST champion Royals earned a trip to the 2021 CCAA Men’s Soccer National Championship, where they captured a silver medal at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) in Calgary, AB.
“Being able to coach in a national final was not only an incredible experience, but it taught me how to remain calm and how to settle the nerves of the players,” she said.
It was certainly a rare opportunity for a FACP apprentice to be part of a coaching staff in a final a CCAA Championship.
“I have gained an immense amount of confidence not only as a coach but also as a person because of this experience,” said Samra. “In my second year in the FACP, I hope to take a more active role as a coach on the Men’s Soccer team, so that I can use the knowledge I have gained over this past year.”