It’s JulyFest week, and one and all are gearing up for Kimberley’s biggest festival.
While much of the focus is on bocce, the dance and parade, there is also one other really big part of JulyFest weekend and that’s the soccer tournament.
Once again over 60 teams have signed up. With 15 players per team, plus entourages, tournament organizer Simon Davidson estimates the tournament itself brings about 1150 people to town.
Davidson would really like to see locals from Cranbrook and Kimberley coming out to take in the action, because this is quality soccer.
“It’s the best soccer you’re going to see in the Kootenays,” he said. “We have some really quality teams returning and some new teams like some boys from the Alberta Major League. We have the Missoula Athletic Club returning and a team on the women’s competitive side flying in all the way from Guelph, Ontario.”
The quality of the refereeing is also top notch, Davidson says.
“The quality of refereeing is awesome. Our refs are very experienced and come from all over. One of the refs worked the tour of the European Premier teams in North America. He’s actually been on the same pitch as Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.”
As always Purcell Park in Marysville will be soccer HQ during the tournament but action will take place on Saturday at Chapman Camp, Blarchmont, Marysville School, Lions Park and Selkirk School fields as well.
“Games start at 8 a.m. Saturday and the last one will end at about 7 p.m. The knock out rounds start on Sunday and the finals will be at Purcell Park with the last starting at about 4 p.m.”
“Purcell is the place to be on Sunday. We anticipate there will be some really great games,” Davidson said.
Kimberley Minor Soccer will have a concession at Purcell Park to keep you fed.
For local teams on the competitive side, Davidson says to watch out for the Cranbrook Unicorns, who will be looking to rebound from their loss last year on the mens’ side.
“There are two Cranbrook teams on the women’s competitive side. I’m expecting good things from them.”