Thursday, March 26, 2015

Like a Phoenix?

In a story something like that of the Phoenix rising from the ashes, it looks like Victoria Highlanders will live to play another day.

Sort of.

For now.

An interesting week

Just a week ago, in a fit of optimism, I renewed the domain name  Not just to preserve the name and thwart Eastern European porn distributors but as a sign of hope. On the Lake Side Buoys FB group I found that there was still hope that perhaps we would one day be able to get our team back. We might see the black and gold on the pitch again.

And so it was with that tiny spark of hope in the air that I got an email out of the blue asking if I could meet a couple of local soccer guys who might have a plan.

A couple of days before that I had played in my usual pickup game and came across an acquaintance who has not been able to get to games for a while. He hinted that there was a group in town looking to pull something together. Probably to enter a team in the PCSL but I dismissed that as wishful thinking. It was too too late to enter for the summer.

Or was it?

Drinks at the B&B

The email was from Marvin Diercks and said, "Dave Dew and I have just recently completed the purchase of the assets and brand rights to the Victoria Highlanders FC." and asked if I would meet with them to discuss their plans.

Dave and Marvin should be known to most soccer fans in Victoria having been  involved in the top levels of soccer in this town for years. They will be known to Highlanders fans particularly as the core of the highly successful coaching team for the women's side.

I tried not to get too excited but arrived earlier than the time agreed. I stood outside the Bard & Banker watching for some Highlanders gear.

Soon enough Marvin appeared, we went in and sat down to have a pint [Yes I let them buy but I only had one so I don't think I am too biased.] and he began to talk. Marvin spoke of their involvement in local soccer and the Highlanders and what was happening behind the scenes almost from the moment Alex announced that he was giving up.

Dave arrived in short order and we got down to a frank and productive discussion of the state of the club and where we go from here.

The details

  • The team has been entered in the PCSL for 2015 and potential dates for RAP have been submitted.
  • Dave and Marvin will be coaching and heading up the VOLUNTEERS to run the team.
  • It does not look like they will be able to run anything other than the mens program at the senior level this summer.
  • Dave and Marvin did NOT buy the company and it's obligations but would like to honour already sold season tickets. As well they hope to offer something like souvenir merchandise or additional tickets and their deep gratitude to season ticket holders.
  • Official announcements that will confirm more coaching staff and player signings will be made as early as next week.
  • They hope to be able to move up from the PCSL at some point but they do not have $2,000,000 to lose as Alex did over the last 6years so there will be no cart before the horse.
  • These guys see themselves as caretakers of the club. I commented that they were more "Vancouver 86ers" than "Whitecaps" and they both laughed and nodded in agreement.

What do they want from us?

They want us in the stands. They want us onside. They are keen to to help us grow and what was fascinating was hearing Dave talk about the time he spoke with the President of the Timbers Army. I think they appreciate what we bring to the table and we should be prepared to come back with any requests we have to help us grow our section.

Not what we were looking forward to a few months ago but better than a summer without soccer.