Soccer Québec announced on Friday the men's and women's teams that will represent Québec at the Canada Games, which will be held in the Niagara region, Ontario, from August 6 to 21.
This is a return to the Games that were scheduled to take place last year, but were postponed due to COVID-19.
And, as seen at the Tokyo Olympics a year ago, the age group has been changed so that all aspirants can participate.
For this edition of the Games, we was supposed to go back to the under-17s, but we kept the under-18s category as it was before.
For men, Quebec will face Newfoundland and Labrador as well as British Columbia in the first round.
We are entitled to a more special situation for women, because the Quebec women will play twice against British Columbia, due to the withdrawal of the Northwest Territories.
“It can be positive as it can be a trap,” opined the general manager of Soccer Quebec, Mathieu Chamberland.
“Newfoundland has a good structure and there is never an easy game against them and historically BC has had some very good teams. We expect two very good matches in the first round,” added Alex Salvoni, who leads the men’s team.
Quebec generally reaps very good results at the Canada Games. In 2017, the girls won gold and the boys won bronze. At the end of the two previous editions, in 2009 and 2013, the boys climbed to the top of the podium, and the girls won silver.
“Gold is not just a goal, I think it's very realistic,” insisted the coach of the women's team, Julie Casselman.
It must be said that this is her third game, she who participated as an athlete in 2009 and as an apprentice coach in 2017.
Alex Salvoni, for his part, is in his second participation in the national competition.
The Canada Games not only represent a great showcase for Quebec soccer, but also an evaluation tool.
“It's a barometer on development, on what has been done in recent years “, noted Mathieu Chamberland.
“It's always fun to compare yourself to other provinces. Games against Ontario or British Columbia remain engraved in memory. “
It's a long-term job to put together a team of 18 players.
“It's been two years since we started our detection program” , mentioned Julie Casselman, who lost a few players along the way because they left for American universities.
For the boys, it's the same thing: Alex Salvoni has been working there for many months.
“Our first camp was last October. We saw them almost every weekend in April. We have six or seven guys who joined the group during the process. »