Skill Centre

Canada Soccer has created the Skill Centre to guide clubs towards the best principles in player development, by taking a nationally coordinated approach to developing young soccer players. The WIA Skill Centre follows the guidelines and standards as outlined in the Canada Soccer Association Skill Centre manual.

Westcastle International Academy’s Skill Centre is an after-school program that develops the fundamental skills players need to succeed at whatever level of the game they aspire to.

At WIA, the training environment resembles the game environment, with each training session focusing on relevant, game-realistic skill development, complemented with a multi-sport approach, to develop motivated athletes.


Children in the Skill Centre focus on their football development as well as their physical literacy. Sports like Basketball, Dodgeball, Judo and Track & Field form a key part of the training regime and account for 25-30 percent of their development up to the age of 12. Through these sports, players focus on specific skill sets that enhance their soccer development such as agility, balance, coordination, decision-making, falling safely, peripheral awareness and speed.

Players attending the Skill Centre can participate in the LISA league through any LISA member Club.

WIA is a Full Member of the Lower Island Soccer Association and participates in the weekly LISA development league against other LISA member clubs.

Players invited to the Skill Centre, opting to play for the WIA Rangers will be placed into training groups and rostered weekly for LISA games.


  • WIA Rangers teams play in the LISA U11/U12/U13 Developmental League, which aligns with Canada Soccer requirements for Skill Centres
  • WIA does not have set teams, but fluid rosters that are created weekly according to the competition and individual player’s development
  • U8-U9 Skill Centre players focus on training and participate in the Active Start Festival. WIA does not offer an in-club house league for this age group.
  • Girls may play on boy’s teams

Application Process

The Skill Centre is a standards-based program, therefore all players applying to the Skill Centre must attend an ID camp for evaluation, regardless of which club they choose to represent in the LISA Development League.

Players must submit an application and attend the free ID camps to be considered for the Skill Centre and WIA Rangers teams.

Players will be evaluated along all 4 aspects of player development; mental, physical, technical and tactical skill.

Once ID camps are completed, selected players will be invited to join WIA’s Skill Centre.

Of those players invited:

Players (U10-U12)

  • A group of players will be invited to join the Skill Centre and selected to play for WIA in the LISA League.

  • A group will be invited to join the Skill Centre and play for other LISA League clubs.

Players (U8-U9)

  • There are no LISA League games for players in these age groups.
  • WIA does not provide in-club weekend games for this age group.

  • Players who opt to join WIA will participate in the LISA ActiveStart Festival only.

  • We recommend players seeking game opportunities consider registering with another LISA club while attending the Skill Centre.

WIA’s Philosophy on Player Placement

The placement of players is based on a variety of variables:

  • “Soccer Age” (player’s maturity, physical age, technical ability and overall understanding of soccer)
  • Stage of physical development and literacy (fluid and ever-changing)
  • Team dynamic
  • Biological age

Some players may play in their biological age group, while others are placed on teams based on their soccer age. WIA technical coaches decide a player’s placement on an individual basis.

Parents and players must understand the following as it relates to the Skill Centre and WIA Teams. WIA:

  • Cannot enroll more players than the player-to-coach ratio allows
    • Priority registration will be given to players selected for WIA Teams
    • Should space allow, additional spots will be given to players seeking supplementary training from other clubs
  • Cannot turn away players who show promise just because they are inexperienced at the present moment
  • Cannot accurately predict the potential or future performance of a player
  • Cannot guarantee that your player will make the BCSPL team at U13 because the characteristics of young players are not the same as those of mature elite athletes
  • Can develop and support players that are ready and willing to train, follow our standards-based training methods and trust our judgement as it relates to their development

T-I-P-S Philosophy for Player Development

Technical – understanding of what a technical player is – willing to receive technical training, perceptive to developing technique (quality of the touch of the ball)… playing games and taking part in tournaments does not equate to the technical development of a player.

Intelligence – understanding the game, understanding instructions and ability to apply those instructions to play and game… following through the instructions (Game understanding – tactical understanding)

Personality – attitude, attention, coachability, decision-making, creative thinking, motivation, concentration, communication (psychosocial)

Speed – physical development, speed of thought and speed of action, problem-solving, intensity of training

Program Description


Our program delivers physical literacy training in areas of agility, balance & coordination, basic motor skills, flexibility & mobility, perception & awareness, reaction time, and speed. Development modules of cross-training activities will run in 4-6-week cycles with activities like

  • Track (endurance, agility and speed)
  • Basketball skills/ Gymnastics (balance and coordination)
  • Judo (flexibility & mobility, strength, and stamina)
  • Futsal (dribbling, decision-making skills, confidence 1v1, creativity)
  • Dodgeball (agility, concentration, reaction, and team-building skills)
  • Badminton (excellent balance, flexibility, motor skills, mental resilience, team spirit and quick reflexes)


The Psycho-social development program will be delivered in partnership with the University of Victoria’s Centre for Outreach Education (CORE). The program focus on psycho-social development in 2-4-week cycles with age-appropriate activities in areas such as

  • individual motivation
  • self-confidence, respect & discipline
  • concentration, cooperation, teamwork
  • competition, sportsmanship and team spirit building


With the understanding of age-appropriate levels of intensity and workload, technical training will focus on

  • passing and receiving
  • dribbling
  • ball control
  • turning
  • running with the ball
  • shielding the ball
  • shooting
  • finishing on goal


With the understanding of age-appropriate levels of intensity and workload, tactical training will focus on:

  • combination plays
  • 1v1 attacking
  • receiving on turn
  • crossing and finishing
  • positional play
  • finishing on goal
  • movement off the ball
  • 1v1 defending

The Tactical emphasis is on possession, passing accuracy, and fluid movement between the orthodox delineations of midfield and attacking principles.

Program Schedule

Start date – 7 September 2023
End date – 13 June 2024

Training Schedule

Arrival and ball mastery 3:15 – 3:30 pm

WedMulti-Sports/ Psychosocial Activities3:30 – 4:30 pm
Tues & ThursTechnical/ Tactical Sessions3:30 – 4:30 pm
SatLISA League Matches – Rangerssee LISA schedule

Program Fees

  • $2,255 includes GST
  • Additional Fees
    • $100 LISA League Fee (U8-U9)
    • $180 LISA League Fee (U10-U12)
    • $150 Full Kit Fee includes GST (New Players)
  • All players receive
    • Standards-based curriculum
    • 3 sessions per week
    • LISA Development League games (U11-U13)
    • Skill Centre Festivals
    • Professional coaching
    • Low player-to-coach ratios

Refund policies are listed on registration forms when you register for a program. 

Youth Programs