Local participants prominent in BC Soccer�s annual awards

BC Soccer announced their annual awards Friday afternoon, and several Surrey residents are among the recipients.

Steve Reed and Robert Sawtell were among five people receive Life Membership Awards.

“These individuals have dedicated their time and passion to the sport of soccer in areas ranging from administration and governance to refereeing and board leadership,” said a BC Soccer press release. “BC Soccer thanks them for their endless contributions and is proud to acknowledge them with this achievement.”

Surrey United goalkeeper Paul Shepherd was named the Adult Player of the Year for “establishing himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the Vancouver Metro Soccer League (VMSL).

“His agility and reflexes are razor sharp and he never ceases to amaze his own teammates with outstanding saves, which are quite often the post-game topic of discussion,” said VMSL vice-president William Azzi.

The Surrey United Soccer Club did well in the Coach of the Year awards, winning in both the Youth and Adult categories.

Frank McCann is the Youth Coach of the Year after leading his team to a provincial title and a trip to the under-16 boys national championship in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.

“This past October his team won the Canadian National Club Championship Gold Medal which is the pinnacle of his long and distinguished coaching career,” said Surrey United executive director Martin Foden.

Niall Thompson is coach of United’s men’s team, and was named BC Soccer’s Adult Coach of the Year. In four seasons with Thompson as coach, United has won two league titles, two Imperial Cups, one Pacific Cup, and  the BC Soccer Provincial Cup in 2012 and 2013.

BC Soccer will honour all of these award recipients by hosting them Saturday at BC Place when the Vancouver Whitecaps FC take on the New England Revolution.

BC Soccer also announced the recipients of  12 scholarships worth more than $13,000 to “some of BC’s most inspiring and promising individuals.”

Julia Lauzon of Surrey is the recipient of this year’s Sandra Duncan Scholarship funded by the South District Girls Soccer Association for her outstanding academic achievements combined with her dedication to soccer. Lauzon has several opportunities to play varsity soccer at the university level after playing with Surrey United and BC Soccer’s Provincial Program.

“Julia is a great example of student athlete,” said BC Soccer programs coach Markus Reinkens. “Her dedication both on and off the field is first class and she is an excellent recipient for this award.”

The Dancey Family Scholarship, funded by the Surrey Metro Soccer Association in memory of George, Mary and Ron Dancey, is being awarded to Adrienne Juni of Burnaby.

Her involvement in soccer includes playing for the past nine years, refereeing for the last six years, and being the head coach for the under-11 Burnaby Girls Thunderbolts.

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