History of Soccer in Prince George

A GENERAL HISTORY OF SOCCER IN PRINCE GEORGE

TO SEE THE MEN’S TROPHY WINNERS, WOMEN’S OR YOUTH HISTORY PLEASE FOLLOW THE LINKS UNDER “ABOUT US” ON THE MAIN PAGE.

A Brief History of Senior Soccer in Prince George : from an article by Shafeed Rahman.(1999) – (with updates, photos and early history by Terry Carter and the PG Library Newspaper Archives.) 
Like many communities throughout British Columbia, Prince George’s sports heritage owes much to the immigrants who brought their passion for home grown games to a new land and a look at the rich history of soccer in Prince George proves this. The game of soccer in PG can be traced as far back as the first World War, but neither time nor resources were available to do justice to the early years of soccer here.
I am indebted to two PG soccer legends, Hans Niedermayer and Jim Briggs who gave some interesting accounts of soccer over the last four decades, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Gratitude also to Gaetano Mauro and Nick Rukavina for their assistance, and I regret that I wasn’t able to interview John DaSilva and others who played a tremendous role in the development of soccer in Prince George.  Shafeed Rahman

The PG Library Archives provided the links to the newspapers below:
Fort George HeraldFort George TribunePrince George Citizen,

Prince George HeraldPrince George PostPrince George Star,
The Leader.

1912 – 1920 In the beginning

The earliest record I have found for organized soccer in the Prince George area is from May 1912 with an announcement in the Fort George Herald of the Dominion Day Athletic Festivities that included Baseball, Assoc. Football and other field sports. (tc)

May 31st 1913 South Fort George 2 Fort George 4

From the Fort George Herald June 28th 1913

Football team after a record

New Organization Promises to Make Popular the Strenuous Game
 

Fort George Nechaco defeats South Fort George 1-0 to take the Montgomery Shield

Fort George Nechaco defeats South Fort George 1-0 to take the Montgomery Shield. A photo found by Lino and Kathy Nadelin

The Battle for The Montgomery Shield  -1913
The Photo on the left of the Fort George Nechaco team was found by Noreen Rustad  in an old box of photo,s. She in turn passed it on to Lino and Kathy Nadelin . Kathy and Lino in turn passed it on to me to see if I could find anything about it. Mr Montgomery was a Barrister and also operated a jewellers store in the townsite. He donated both the Shield and medals for the winners in 1913. This Shield was played for till around 1932. (tc)

September 13th 1913 Anounced a series of 5 games to be played between South Fort George and Fort George Nechaco for the Montgomery Shield.

Tuesday September 16th 1913 the game between South Fort George and Fort George Nechaco was a tie 1-1

Sunday 21st September 1913 South Fort George defeated Fort George Nechaco  3-2

Sunday October 19th 1913 Fort George Nechaco defeated South Fort George 3-1
Sunday October 26th  1913 Fort George Nechaco defeats South Fort George 1-0  in the last of a 4 game series 2 wins, 1 loss and 1 tie.​​​​​​to take the Montgomery Shield


Report from the Fort George Herald Saturday November 1st 1913.
“The Montgomery Shield, coveted trophy for football players, was won last Sunday by the Fort George team by a score of 1-0. Throughout the game the local boys put up a splendid battle for the trophy, but the heavier players from Nechaco townsite proved too strong for them, and in spite of the excellent play of the local team were unable to score. Murray, for the Fort George team, played a splendid game, scoring the only goal. Both teams played for all that was in them, and without a doubt was the fastest event on the football card for the year. This was the first sporting trophy that has ever been won by the Nechaco town in competition against South Fort George.”

November 8th 1913 a football game is scheduled to be played on the South Fort George fields between South Fort George and  the Foley, Welch and Stewart (Construction)Boys.

March 21st 1914 From the Fort George Herald

FOOTBALL CLUB MEETING 3 team League confirmed

April 3rd 1915 From the Prince George Post April 3rd 1915
Two teams in soccer league: Game Monday

1921 – 1938

“Just as popular then and now, is the best game in the world, soccer. Even in the rough colonial town of Prince George, the British game has many followers.”
Excerpt from the Citizen, August 1921

March 25th 1921 – A soccer league is formed, The Prince George Football League, with 3 teams and is a rousing success. Great War Veterans Assoc. (GWVA) Plus 2 others from “The Cache”

THE PERRY CUP IS AWARDED

The Prince George Challenge Cup for Association Football, presented by H.G. Perry Esquire, MLA 1921″ (tc)
In 1921 this trophy, first presented in  April of that year, was missing for over 30 years until turning up in the local dump, where it was rescued and restored to its place of honour. The solid silver trophy is still presented to the Top Division playoff champions.


H.G. Perry (centre) MLA

NEWS CLIP FROM “THE LEADER” APRIL 15th 1921

April 15th 1921 Practice match arranged for tonight between the Vets and City. Team list and details

April 24th 1921 Vets win 1-0 over City

June 14th 1921 – Vets beat City 3-2

June 22nd 1921 – Vets beat City 5-1

Sep 9th 1921 – Last practice for the finalists, GWVA vs City, in the Perry Cup – teams.  Page 4

Sep 16th 1921 GWVA(Vets) beat  City 3-1 to take the Perry Cup

Apr 7th 1922 – General meeting to discuss upcoming football season

May 26th 1922 – First game of the Perry Cup go to the Vets 2-0 over  the City Team.

Sept 6th 1923 – The Vets beat the Caledonians 2-0 to take the Perry Cup

May 1928 – H.G. Perry donates medals for a tournament in McBride. 1 team from McBride and 3 teams from PG participate. The Cubs and CNR play a game where the railway boys won by a score of 3-1.

June 23rd 1932 Football match between McBride and Prince George for the Montgomery Shield

June 23rd 1932 – Advert for the upcoming Montgomery Shield playoff game between Prince George and McBride.

July 7th 1932 McBride defeats Prince George 2-0 to take the Mongomery Shield
This seems to be the last mention of the Montgomery Shield. tc

THE FORMATIVE YEARS

1939 – 1949

No records found for the War years.

1950 – 1960

1955 – April 28th – Soccer starts with 6 teams
1955 – Sept 26th – Semi Finals Played at Duchess Park
1955 – Oct  9th – Italiana to meet SC Germania in the final for the Jimmy James Trophy
1955 – Oct 20th – Undefeated Italiana win Jimmy James Trophy
Team List: Alberta Duiz, Lungo Demarcio, Pino Duiz; Ovido Tominato, Titti Merer, Frank Cescon, Toni Bertoli; James Kellar, Romeo Zucollo, Sussi Armanda, Pete Pastore

1956 May 20th – Vets meet Bay at 3pm.

The Legion “Vets” Team take on Hudson Bay at Connaught Park on Sunday followed at 4:30pm by a game between SC Germania and Inter.
1957 June 27th – City Soccer clubs to play finals
Italia to play SC Germania on Sunday for the League Cup.

1960 – 1970

1960 – April 13th – PGSL Soccer Looking for a New Home

1960 – April 18th – PGSL 5 Team League set to go and Youth looking for coaches

1960 – June 17th – PGSL Playoff Begin

1960 – Sep 26th – Nechako Clinches PGSL League

1962 – May 14th – NCSL Opening Weekend

1964 June 26th – Nats Clinch First Place in Soccer

1964 Sep 14th – Hugo Riske Paces Soccer Win

1964 Sep 21st – Franco Mario powers Deutz Win

1964 Oct 16th – Nats to play Maple Leafs in Soccer Final

PG Rotary Club helps to establish a permanent field for soccer at the old track and field grounds.

1968 June 10th JIM BRIGGS hits 6 in big win

The North Cariboo Soccer League forms, but BCSA refuses to register the league as it was “…too troublesome.”” In the seasons 1966 to 1970, the game was almost entirely played by immigrants who formed teams of similar ethnic groups. This, sadly, led to emotional outbursts related more to national pride than the game of soccer and trouble was a frequent bystander at our games. As a result the league was rarely completed and visits to courtrooms were not uncommon.” – unknown former player
” It was ugly in the beginning. We had all ethnic teams and there were fights every game. The police even had to come out and oversee the games. But then we got some organization and proper referees and order came about.” – League ref and pioneer John DaSilva

1968 June 17th – Ref Stops Soccer Game

1970 – 1980

NCSL joins BCSA, as it leaves behind it’s rougher past and becomes a stronger league with teams from Fraser Lake, Quesnel, and Mackenzie.

Original clubhouse is built in 1975 with a contribution of $32,000 from the City, and a grandstand is added later.

The Vancouver Whitecaps, under coach Tony Waiters, play exhibition games here in 1977 and 1979 to sold out crowds. Hans Niedermayer is instrumental in coordinating.

NCSSL launches their annual tournament.

A youth team from the U.K. plays local club PG Italia.

Canadian national club champs Eintracht play the PG Selects, again Hans Niedermayer coordinates.

Labatts team went on a four year, 63 game unbeaten streak.

THE PRESENT

1980 – 1985

Jan 1980 NORTH CARIBOO SOCCER ASSOCIATION incorporated under the Societies Act Directors are the (late) Al Auld, Brenda Auld, (late) John DaSilva, Jim Briggs, Gaetano Mauro, Vince Buljevic, Harold Hacker, and Hans Niedermayer and this executive helps restore stability.

First four years of the decade saw political turmoil in local soccer once again, .

Canadian Olympic team plays a very competitive PG Selects.

1984 saw only 3 teams in the league, and the final was suspended due to violence.

A second league is formed, the Men’s Recreational League, also an Indoor League is formed and indoor tournament initiated.

Historic visit of Gordon Banks (1966 English World Cup team) at the old Rotary fields.

1986 – 1990

May 1989 The NCSA changes its name to the NORTH CARIBOO SENIOR SOCCER LEAGUE

The NCSSL and the Mens Recreational Soccer League amalgamate and stabilize, and a women’s league(PGWSA) is formed.

Vancouver 86ers play their first exhibition game against the PG Selects, coordinated byGaetano Mauro.

Vancouver Croatia play an exhibition against the PG Selects, coordinated by Vince Buljevic.

NCSSL assists the youth league in hosting the successful Interior Cup.

PGYSA enrols over 1000 players for the first time

Plans are initiated for a new soccer complex for the league.

1989 1st and 2nd Divisions established in the NCSSL

1990 – 1999

NCSSL hosts B.C. Summer Games soccer tournament, coordinated by Glen Thompson.

Vancouver 86ers third exhibition game in town, coordinated again by Gaetano Mauro.

Youth complex is opened by guest of honour Tony Waiters.

In 1998 the Over 45 Division was added to the NCSSL

Professional A-League game between Vancouver 86ers and Atlanta Ruckus played here in front of a record crowd at Massey Stadium, coordinated by Heather Carter.

Construction of the NCSSL complex is completed, spearheaded by Glen Thompson, and is officially opened on May 29th, 1998.

North Cariboo Senior Soccer League Clubhouse

After nearly a decade of planning and construction, the new NCSSL Clubhouse complex with three fields was opened on May 29th, 1998 at a cost of $750,000.
Glen Thompson oversaw the project and had one of the fields named in his honour. Glen also earned a B.C. Soccer Association special recognition award for his work on the project. Field #2 now has a full set of floodlights on it.

NCSSL host men’s and women’s 1999 B.C. Recreation Cup Championships at the new complex.

2000 – 2010

2001 Vancouver Whitecaps play the PG Selects at Massey Stadium. coordinators Heather Carter, Terry Carter. Coaches Mick Kearns, Rob Wood

2001 Field 3 at the NCSSL Completed

2002 Lights installed on field 2 at the NCSSL Fields

2002 Final fields finished to accommodate Mini Soccer at the PGYSA Fields

2002 3 intrepid players from the NCSSL, Alf Mills, Richard Ryan and Terry Carter, packed their bags and headed to New Zealand to play in the World Fun Cup with the Calgary United Team. Resulted in a Win for the United Team.

2003 Construction started on PGWSA fields – Completed 2005

2007 Carter family double in NCSSL Playoffs
Terry Carter(Brink Forest Kickers) and Steve Carter(Treasure Cove Casino) Do goalkeeper double in the NCSSL Finals.
In the Master Playoff Final: (from the PG Citizen 2007-09-24)
Don’t tell Terry Carter he’s too old to be playing a young man’s game. Even the dreaded shootout was no match for the 65-year-old import from the birth-
place of soccer. Carter’s English accent might have diminished in the years he’s lived in Prince George, but he showed no signs Sunday he was about to blend in with the crowd of players contending for the North Cariboo Senior
Soccer League Masters Division crown. It was Carter’s time to shine and he was absolutely brilliant in a 1-0 Brink Forest Kickers clear-cut over Northern Thunderbird Air.“I hate shootouts,” said Carter. “But at the end of the day, you have to do your job and I just guessed right and made the saves. It was very close, those guys were trying their best.” Carter made three saves on the first three shots he faced in the shootout before Fraser Corbould finally found the range. After Jim Elson hit the post, Brink shooters beat NT Air goalie Steve Fleck with the next three volleys from penalty kick range. Fleck, who kept it scoreless late in regulation time with a brilliant save off Ron Strobl, fell victim to Brink shooter Tek Fu and the celebration was on at Glen Thompson Field. “The game itself was typical of what we played in the masters division this year hard games and low scoring,” said Carter, who won three Division 1 games this season for Treasure Cove Casino and also plays tournament games in the U.S. “It took one game at the end of the season to decide the top three places (in a five team league)so going into the playoffs, why would it be any different?”
In the Division 1 Playoff Final

Whoever put the slope in the field for Sundays North Cariboo Senior Soccer League Division 1 final must have been watching too many episodes of the old Batman TV series. Remember when they used to tilt the camera for the fight scenes in the bad guys’ hideouts? That pretty much describes what transpired at Glen Thompson Field in Sunday’s winner-take-all battle between Treasure Cove Casino FC and the Powerhouse Hammers.
For the first half, the fans gathered on the north end of the field had the best view as the Casino boys dominated the flow of play and stormed the net with more pressure than Hammers’ goalie Andrew white cared to see. White’s only mistake, 22 minutes in, led to the only goal of the game and a 1-0 Treasure Cove win. White came out to challenge Nick Buljevic but was left stranded when Buljevic chipped a high pass across the crease to Lyle Eggen, who saw nothing but net. “I was just in the right spot at the right spot said Eggen. “It was a sharp angle but it was a good ball from Nick and I just hit it as hard as I could low and it went in the net”
As dominant as Treasure Cove was in the first half, Steve Carter earned his keep in a pressure-packed second 45 minutes. Todd Kuc, whose wide-open 20-metre shot in the first half sailed over the crossbar, had another glorious chance for Powerhouse on a breakaway that Carter smothered, and Jay Greenfield was equally frustrated after another close call. With 70 minutes gone, Carter showed great mobility to time his slide and turn away a short-side attempt by Jason Bremner. Powerhouse had no intentions of 1etting up.
Barry Nakahara almost forced when overtime when he rang a shot off the post with 2 minutes left.“We kind of let down in the last 20 minutes but we came out with it,” said Casino defender Nate Zurowski. “Carter made the saves to keep us in it and that’s all we needed” Poor turnouts for games earlier in the season hurt Treasure Cove but they nearly at full strength Sunday. Treasure Cove knocked off Mr. Quick 2-1 in the semifinal last week, which some considered an upset, but not Carter. Even without their centre midfielder, Mark Schomberg, who was serving a red card suspension Sunday- had what it takes to be champions. “We haven’t lost in 10 games and we’ve really turned it on,” said Carter. “Our defense played solid all year and I wasn’t worried and they didn’t get a lot of real good scoring chances. Ihe ones they did get, I was able to get a hand or foot on and we won the game.” Treasure Cove easily could have had a handful of goals to add to their collection if not for White’s heroics. Not long after the goal, he stoned Kyle Griffith on a close-range shot and ended the half with a well timed diving save on Griffith again. “The last few games we’ve really been taking it up a notch in the second half and we knew it was the last game of the season and we had to leave it all on the field,” said White. “They had a lot of good chances in the first half but we owned the second half. We just didn’t get that finishing touch. It just as easily could have gone the other way.”

August 2009 NCSSL and PGWSA host the BC Soccer “B” Cup

2011 to present

In 2011 The NCSSL realigned the league into Open/Over 30/ Over 45 Division’s.

2017 Season saw Open and 45+ Divisions with the addition of a 50+ Drop In Game.

2017 After 12 months of preparation and organization the PGWSA and the NCSSL presented their respective members with an opportunity to decide the future of senior soccer in PG. A special resolution was presented and a vote took place during the week of August 21st to 24th to Amalgamate both the mens and womens soccer clubs into one organisation. The resulting votes were tallied and an overwhelming majority by both clubs resulted in a YES vote for Amalgamation. The process now begins to bring the the two clubs Constitution and By-Laws together.

May 2018 Saw the full amalgamation between the NCSSL and the PGWSA completed and the Prince George Soccer Association(PGSA) was formed.

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