The Bell Aliant Atlantic all-star soccer championships kick off this week.
The P.E.I. under-14 boys’ and girls’ teams are hosting the competition in Charlottetown while the P.E.I. under-13 teams are in St. John’s, N.L.
Games begin today and will conclude on Sunday with the gold- and bronze-medal matches.
Host associations have partnered with Bell Aliant to provide live streaming of all the action on their Community One channel.
At the under-14 championships, P.E.I. coach Jonathan Vos has a large number of boys returning from last year’s under-13 squad that will look to improve on its fourth-place finish.
The girls’ team, coached by former UPEI keeper Ashley McKenna, has 10 players returning from last year.
The team has a good chance at landing a medal this year but will be up against strong opposition from the other Atlantic provinces based on the close matches at last year’s under-13 tournament.
This year’s under-13 boys’ team will try to get into the gold-medal match after last year’s team lost a close match against New Brunswick to finish fourth.
Former UPEI Panther Danny Hill is coaching the squad, and feels they are capable of improving on last year’s placing.
The under-13 girls have one returning player from last year’s team — Nicole Doncaster from the Winsloe-Charlottetown Royals F.C. Doncaster will be urging on her teammates to strive for the gold-medal match as she remembers how close they came last year after a close 1-0 loss to Newfoundland and Labrador.
The team then lost out on a medal to New Brunswick in a game that finished in a penalty shootout. The team had defeated the New Brunswick side 2-1 during the round robin. Coach Mark Caudle has a squad that can contend for a place in Sunday’s final.