Victoria Highlanders Football Club has announced the selection of Nico Craveiro as the Head Coach of the VHFC Reserves competing in the 2018 Pacific Coast Soccer League (PCSL). Nico takes over the reins of the Highlanders reserve team for the summer.
“Many of these kids are coming from the Canadian college system, and this gives them an opportunity to play in their hometown,” stated Craveiro. The Highlanders reserve team will be looking to develop these players while also providing depth for Thomas Niendorf’s First Team program which competes in the USL Premier Development League (PDL).
“I’ve known Thomas (Niendorf) for a long time. Thomas used to coach against me for Calgary (Storm) when I was at the Whitecaps, and then I got to meet him during his time as residency head coach at the Whitecaps. His reputation precedes him. He creates an environment for the kids that allows them to make the jump into the higher divisions and leagues,” commented Craveiro. “I respect Thomas for what he has done in the coaching realm. From a learning aspect for myself, I will be looking up to him as a mentor, seeing how he deals with the stress of coaching in the PDL.”
The Highlanders ownership were keen to create a position for Craveiro that allowed for his experience as well as deepen the connection between partners UVIC Vikes. Craveiro is an alumni of the Vikes and will continue his role as the Assistant Coach of the Vikes men’s soccer team under Head Coach Bruce Wilson. The partnership between the Vikes and Highlanders allows for greater collaboration on player and coach development, training and facility usage.
“As a community program, we truly want to reach out and break the divide in as many places we could early on,” stated Highlanders Managing Director Brett Large. “It makes complete sense for us to have a strong partnership with the UVIC Vikes on multiple fronts and provide our players, coaches and fans an experience both on and off the field that creates good memories and feelings for all involved.”
“We want it to be an enjoyable time for the kids. The goal is to foster a fun environment that is also a competitive environment pushing the kids,” Craveiro added, “We will have an open conversation about the two way swap of players in both the PDL and PCSL, putting the best kids with the best group for their development and the team. Win-win for everyone. We need that type of relationship, a reserve style team, translating those performances at home into victories.”