Ivkovic signs four year contract extension with Prince Albert Youth Soccer Association

Dragan Ivkovic (left) signs his contract with the Prince Albert Youth Soccer Association. --submitted photo/PAYSA

Since 2015, PAYSA technical director Dragan Ivkovic has helped put Prince Albert on the map as one of the biggest soccer communities in the province.

Over the weekend, Ivkovic signed a contract to stick around with the organization for another four years.

“I am more than happy working in this community,” Ivkovic said. “I can see the results of my last five years here. We built the biggest soccer club in the province.”

Ivkovic says a lot has changed since he joined the club in 2015. Despite the struggles presented by COVID-19, he thinks the sport of soccer has thrived in the city, and will continue to grow even more in the future.

“The biggest thing I noticed when I first came to Prince Albert was the potential of the club,” he said. “Not only the potential of the club, but the potential of the players in the complete area of Prince Albert. Getting First Nations bands involved and growing the numbers. Once you grow the numbers, then you move onto the second phase of having quality teams.”

In 2022, Ivkovic plans to spend much of the season getting all age groups back to a competitive level, something that hasn’t been done since COVID hit.

“My task for this year will be to put us at the same level as we were before COVID-19. After that, we will go higher and try to grow the game even more in this city. We’re going to get as many kids involved, and try to promote the game in schools and more First Nations.”

Thanks new infrastructure upgrades, Irkovic expects PAYSA to have more than 300 kids playing at the same time on different fields in the U5, U7, and U9 age groups. He expects over 1,100 to take to the pitch in all age groups combined.

“We just built two new fields, which we’ll be using for the first time this year,” he explained. “For the very first time in PAYSA history, we will be able to have U5, U7, U9, and U11 teams playing in the same day under the same roof. The U5 and U7 age groups will be playing indoor, and the U9 and U11 will be playing outside on the new fields beside Alfred Jenkins. The older groups will still be playing all around the city.”

There are still spots open for spring registration. The final day for online registration is Wednesday, April 6. In person registration will be available until mid-April.