'Soccer is back': Nipissing District Soccer Club allowed to hold training session with players
NORTH BAY -- After months of waiting patiently on the sidelines, soccer is back in the Nipissing District.
Soccer club executives are not wasting anytime, holding training sessions for the players after COVID-19 put a hold on the season.
"We're excited to get back on and get back to normal soccer," said U14 boys player Nick Paleczny.
"We're just hoping to get back to playing normal games. Last year, it was a lot of fun."
Following approval from the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit and the provincial soccer body, the Ontario Soccer Association, the Nipissing District Soccer Club was told it was allowed to hold drills, training sessions and scrimmages, however, no full competitive matches are scheduled yet.
"Soccer is back. Seeing kids having fun on the field is all about the hard work done behind the scenes," said club president Mark Hopper.
Hopper credits the City of North Bay for keeping the fields up to date so the training sessions can take place.
The club is recruiting Coach Guiseppe Politi to bring his knowledge and expertise of the game to the forefront.
Politi is training with the players, teaching them skills such as dribbling, ball possession and most importantly, teamwork.
Politi is working towards his European soccer (UEFA) class 'A' coaching license.
"Some soccer is better than no soccer," said Politi.
"Perhaps, it's a good thing for some of the players because they can be a little bit more relaxed in the training sessions and grow their capabilities and skill sets in a less pressured environment."
U14 Girls player Morgan McKay has been anxiously waiting to get back onto the field. She says she misses her teammates and the ball at her feet.
"I'm very excited because we haven't been playing in a while," said McKay.
"I'm hoping to learn more footwork and also how to control the ball better."
It's looking like a shortened season in the wake of the re-opening. Many other clubs across the province have not been given the green light to go ahead and play.
The Nipissing District Soccer Club credits everyone involved in helping getting its kids back on the pitch.
"Our club is open for business and we're just trying to showcase a product that we hope will build grassroots to varsity and beyond and also with the 2026 FIFA World Cup coming to Canada," said Hopper.
The club says by holding training sessions, the players can get active again and training at a competitive level.
The club is planning on holding a summer camp in mid-August.
More information can be found on the club's website.