PAYSA prepared for spring soccer season

Daily Herald File Photo Prince Albert Celtic take on Yorkton United during a tournament at the Alfred Jenkins Fieldhouse in 2019.

Spring is just around the corner and the Prince Albert Youth Soccer Association (PAYSA) is ready for the upcoming season ahead.

PAYSA has been awarded a Member Association Level 1 in the Club Licensing program under Soccer Canada. There are currently six other organizations with the Level 1 license in the province of Saskatchewan.

Dragan Ivkovic, the technical director for PAYSA, says the certification shows the dedication from staff, coaches, board members and everyone involved with soccer in the Prince Albert community.

“This level one basically means an acknowledgment or recognition from Canada Soccer Association about the job we are doing here. This definitely shows we are on the right track that will give our kids a chance to be able to compete on the highest level in provincials. I just hope you’ll be able to keep our image being the biggest soccer club in the province. I’m expecting close to or maybe a little bit over a thousand players playing soccer. With the size of the community with PA, it’s a huge achievement.”

Registration for the 2023 spring season is now open, with PAYSA having nearly 800 registrants across house league from ages U5 up through U19. The club has also seen 170 registrants for the Celtics program.

PAYSA will be hosting a late registration night on Mar. 21 from 5-7 p.m. at the Alfred Jenkins Fieldhouse.

Ivkovic says PAYSA has a lot of support in Prince Albert, but also from surrounding communities.

“We are definitely lucky with these numbers. And when you compare it to Moose Jaw or Lloydminster, we are obviously doing something good here, that’s why the kids are coming back. There’s always room to improve and we will make some changes in certain age groups to make it better. We also blessed with a number of outside of the city, like First Nations bands. They also taking part in our registration with our numbers, so that’s also a big, big benefit.”

A new addition for PAYSA this year will be the Celtic Training Program. The program gives an opportunity for house league players to experience the training of the Celtics program.

Ivkovic says the program provides a great look into the program for prospective players.

“We started a program called Celtic Training. Which will be going every Friday and that would be for ages U9 and U11. Free of charge you can just drop your kids in here and you are getting one hour of the free Celtic program philosophy trainings for any parents who use the House league but either cannot afford or doesn’t want to play Celtic teams.”