Pinnacles FC has hired Mila Miller and LaDawn Latawiec to work with their female soccer players.
Ezra Cremers, head coach and executive director of Pinnacles FC, feels the association has added two quality coaches to the program. Miller is a product of the association, having gone through the district program and played four years of college in the U.S. on scholarship. The Osoyoos native helped the Penticton Pinnacles under-21 women’s team win the Pacific Coast Soccer League’s Bill Gillespie Challenge Cup last summer.
Miller has been working with the female players in the Excelsior program over the winter. This spring she will focus on the Osoyoos Mini program coaching kids in the under-five to 10 age group.
“She is a well-known person in the community,” said Cremers, adding that her success in the game adds to that. “Everybody knows who she is. Younger players who have a dream to play soccer at whatever level have that role model or hero that they can look up to. Mila’s personality is very positive. That is important working with younger players.”
Latawiec is a former college player with Grande Prairie and Medicine Hat, who caught the eye of Cremers last summer. Cremers joked that she should become a coach; she expressed an interest and decided to join.
Latawiec is impressed with the Pinnacles FC organization.
“Growing up in Edmonton, it’s nice to see a little town like this have a club like that,” she said. “I didn’t know what to expect.”
She coached in Grande Prairie for three years and saw the growth after leaving. She said the kids here are very skilled and is excited to help them further develop.
“I was impressed,” said Latawiec, who worked with Excelsior players during the winter.
Cremers said Latawiec is an added role model.
“She’s very vocal. It’s an opportunity for that female-to-female coach-player relationship,” said Cremers. “That is important. She’s not shy. She knows her soccer. Technically she has very good skills and understands the way the Pinnacles play.”
Latawiec and Miller are joined by Emily Jones and Alix Varchol, who are player/coaches.
Cremers has headed to Holland with Xavier Araujo, James Fraser, Bjorn Borren, Alix Varchol and Lena Campagnaro for two weeks. The players will train with professional youth teams from Excelsior Rotterdam, while the girls will train with ADO De Haag, a women’s pro team the Pinnacles FC has formed a partnership with.
“The idea of the trip is for a life and football experience,” said Cremers. “These are our top players picked by Excelsior Youth head coach Marco van Lochem last year. Going there will give them the opportunity to rate themselves against professional players.”
Araujo, Fraser and Borren will get at least six sessions and play in a game. Araujo and Fraser are returning in August for three to nine months.
Pinnacles FC will host its first tournament with the Spring Cup March 28-30. Cremers said its a competitive event used as a warm-up for their district teams. It’s expected that upwards of 50 teams will play, coming from Calgary to Vancouver and the Kootenays.