(Photo courtesy TWU)

(Photo courtesy TWU)

TWU Spartans soccer team opens preseason in England

Langley-based team will play U.K. counterparts and help run soccer camps

Trinity Western’s women’s soccer team will open the 2019 season in England, as the Spartans training camp, which includes five preseason games against English clubs, will see the team based in Birmingham from Aug. 7-12 and in Liverpool from Aug. 13-18.

Two-time defending Canada West champion Spartans will play preseason games against West Bromwich Albion Women (Aug. 8), Wolverhampton Wanderers WFC (Aug. 11), Blackburn Rovers Ladies FC (Aug. 13), Birmingham City FC Women (Aug. 14) and Liverpool FC Women U21 (Aug. 18).

Along with their training camp and five preseason games, the Langley-based Spartans also will help run a soccer camp for refugees and displaced people in Birmingham. Beyond that, the team will also run a girls soccer camp alongside a local church.

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The opportunity marks a return to England for the TWU women’s soccer program, as the Spartans toured South Africa and England as part of their 2005 preseason.

“I am really excited for this group to get out on the road on such a special trip in a fantastic soccer culture,” said TWU head coach Graham Roxburgh.

“We want to grow together through our training camp and games while also spending two weeks immersed in a soccer culture. Our connection to local churches and helping them love their neighbourhoods is an awesome opportunity for us all to learn again that our program is about more than soccer. It is about using such an amazing tool like sport to open doors and build bridges in communities. We want our players to grow in their servant leadership and this experience is a great way to start our preseason.”

Following the team’s return to Canada, the Spartans will conclude their preseason schedule by hosting Western Washington University (Aug. 27) and Concordia University (Aug. 31).

TWU opens the Canada West season on the road against UBC (Sept. 6) and Victoria (Sept. 7).

The Spartans home-opening weekend is Sept. 13-14, when they host Winnipeg and Manitoba. Kickoff for both matches is at 5 p.m. at TWU’s Chase Office Field.

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