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Alberta’s newest soccer association.

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info@spartansoccer.ca

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Spartan Soccer offers soccer in a recreational and competitive league with the primary goal of providing exercise and recreation for members of the community. Here you will find updates and news on all things Spartan.

Click here to view the Newsletters from 2021.

All Things Spartan

Spartan Newsletter – Jan 2022

Well, we’re into another year with potential to grasp! 2021 has certainly given us all, collectively,  many challenges that can be measured as either lacklustre or one filled with opportunity. We all want things to go back to normal, and not another adjusting to the new normal. It is a burden we all have to carry on. It is important to view some brightness on matters, when at times, our own circumstances (family, health, work, lifestyle, etc.) can pose such a long shadow over it all. 

However, many good things did happen last year for the soccer community; perhaps not a full return to normal, but certainly a 2021 summer outdoor season that was heading towards a better compared to the start of the pandemic in 2020. Many leagues provided some soccer programs. It wasn’t full cylinders firing, but still something to whet the football passion among many for sure. The previous year (2020) changed the lifestyle of many players that added other options to soccer as an alternative. While this also added to a drain on soccer leagues, it gave players opportunity to try new adventures. Good on them.

Roster changes from this gave all soccer organizations an opportunity to create new program options for players. It was a struggle for many orgs, with some shutting down divisions and full leagues just to cobble together enough players and teams to make something happen.

Spartan launched our Opens Mens and COED leagues featuring this new focus of teams, playing twice weekly in a novel format of 9v9 on premium turf. This was designed to be a shorter season, allowing teams to play twice each week with a recuperation period before starting the next season. This allowed players and teams to get conditioned and recruit too (our summers are short and people often vacation away to enjoy). We felt this was the way to go to get people back into soccer safely and to also introduce our new format. We also launched a second outdoor season that ran into late October, leaving us as the only outdoor soccer action in the region. This tied in well with our evening soccer under stadium lights, that all players enjoyed tremendously. 

While we decided to not pursue a league program for indoor during the winter, as we are committed to the understanding that it was not safe enough to do so on a multi-team or regular league basis, as compared to what other associations pursued. With omicron, we still anticipate more restrictions, possibly even another shut down. We created a new program for coached scrimmages in groups of 12 or 20, as an option even if the regular league programs are shut down. We hedged that our program will still run under the exception of being a training program. The next class is filling up and looks to start in February. We also continued with our outdoor snow soccer program, running as often as possible when temperatures and numbers were right; unfortunately the deep freeze hindered this. Obviously with the long run of very cold weather, we have shuttered sessions until it warms up more. We follow temperature and wind chill guidelines, professionally made for us to determine when and what activities are suitable. Please review our website under the Programs tab for details. We will revise our pricing for the snow soccer program as winter continues.

For the Snow Soccer (LIT UP) program, we prorated the fees to reflect the 4 months left of the season. As of today the fee is $100. We also offer a discount for the first 30 people who next register for the program for another 20% off, so $20 off means only $80 for the remaining 4 months! Happy New Year from Spartan!

Finally, we continue our “Share A Story” contest for prizes. Basically all you need to do to ENTER and WIN AUTOMATICALLY is email us a short bit about any of the following topics:

  1. Happy Xmas story;
  2. Happy Ukrainian Xmas story;
  3. Happy New Year’s story;
  4. Good vibes about soccer story;
  5. Funny winter season moment;
  6. A favourite joke (clean or dirty);
  7. An aspiration for 2022; 
  8. A goal for 2022;
  9. What you were thankful for in 2021; and/or
  10. A memory that makes you smile or laugh.

Share A Story Prizes

First 30: LIT UP Soccer ($100 value)

Next 30: $50 voucher for any of our programs

Please review our coached programs for the 12-pod or 20-pack options. Next sessions start in Feb 2022. This is intensive scrimmage based training and review. Guaranteed to improve or prepare you for the great game, regardless if novice or expert.

We offer a 100% refund if you are not fully satisfied with our program. We guarantee you will become a strong, better player or your money back. No one offers that. We dropped our gauntlet. Will you take the challenge?

Stay Updated and Follow Us on Social Media 

The best way to stay up to date on all things Spartan is to follow or join our various social media platforms. On Facebook and Instagram we feature interviews with our players, and show short game videos of Spartan leagues and Cohorts action. It helps us to recruit more players and subs, and grow our soccer family. Follow us and subscribe to our newsletter too:

Spartan Newsletter – Feb 2022

As we leap into a new year, we will soon bridge into spring, as each week brings us closer and closer! Thinking about what outdoors will bring, the fresh starts, and opportunities for more soccer and outdoor adventures await us all. The cold weather and pandemic has put a strain on everyone, holding us back from our normal lifestyle and enjoyment. It’s been tough. It will get better. We will get through this. Hold on. You got this!

The current indoor programs across the other leagues has been impacted as teams lose players, many who are isolating, recovering from Covid-19 or choosing to stop playing due to case numbers being so high. It is valid that many of us are electing to stay safe, to protect loved ones at home or to remain working for income. In a way, this is creating a tighter community across the board as people bind together in understanding in this common plight. We remain steadfast in our decision to not offer a regular program for indoors during this time–reducing the strain on an overloaded health care system. 

This common stress caused by the pandemic has made us all stir crazy, too, as noted by shorter tempers in players, more injuries accumulating, longer recuperating periods, increased depression among everyone, less post game gatherings, and other drops in the social times and activities we all desperately need. Hang in there. We can ride this out.

This is an opportunity to try new things to keep yourself occupied: read more or restart a book, try biphasic sleeping or even a nap in the afternoons (if possible), replace something in your diet for a healthier option. We recommend reading The Three Musketeers for a taste of old prose style that is rich in language and description. Or, if you have a lot of snow in your yard, build a luge track just like Teo is doing for his daughter. He needs more snow though.

Pending Covid-19 restrictions, the Spartan summer program is planning to offer: COED in a 2x week and 1x week options; Open Mens 1x week; Open Womens 1x week; Refresher courses (indoors) for keepers and field positions; Youth programs; Tournaments; an Open Invitational for COED and Open Men; and Futsal boot camps. Currently we have indoor courses pending in March, so come join that program to be ready for outdoor before anyone else. We have prorated our LIT UP programs fees even more (since there are only three months left in this outdoor snow soccer fun). January is normally the coldest month during winter, so there’s no excuse to hold out any longer.

For the Snow Soccer (LIT UP) program, we prorated the fees to reflect the 3 months left of the season. As of today the fee is $75.

Our contest, as described below, has brought us interesting story submissions and we are excited about giving out the awards to everyone whom sends in their story. It’s easy to do and more prizes remain up for grabs. Send us your submission based upon any of the 10 topics and win something cool before the prizes are gone.

Finally, we continue our “Share A Story” contest for prizes. Basically all you need to do to ENTER and WIN AUTOMATICALLY is email us a short bit about any of the following topics:

  1. Happy Xmas story;
  2. Happy Ukrainian Xmas story;
  3. Happy New Year’s story;
  4. Good vibes about soccer story;
  5. Funny winter season moment;
  6. A favourite joke (clean or dirty);
  7. An aspiration for 2022; 
  8. A goal for 2022;
  9. What you were thankful for in 2021; and/or
  10. A memory that makes you smile or laugh.

Share A Story Prizes

First 30: LIT UP Soccer ($75 value)

Next 30: $50 voucher for any of our programs

Please review our coached programs for the 12-pod or 20-pack options. Next sessions start in Feb 2022. This is intensive scrimmage based training and review. Guaranteed to improve or prepare you for the great game, regardless if novice or expert.

Special Pricing for the LIT UP program!

We offer a 100% refund if you are not fully satisfied with our program. We guarantee you will become a strong, better player or your money back. No one offers that. We dropped our gauntlet. Will you take the challenge?

Stay Updated and Follow Us on Social Media 

The best way to stay up to date on all things Spartan is to follow or join our various social media platforms. On Facebook and Instagram we feature interviews with our players, and show short game videos of Spartan leagues and Cohorts action. It helps us to recruit more players and subs, and grow our soccer family. Follow us and subscribe to our newsletter too:

Spartan Newsletter – March 2022

It can be challenging to continue focusing on the positive with the latest news hitting us, such as the potential WW3 in Ukraine; representing the current fight of light (Ukraine) against the darkness of a megalomaniac tyrant (Putin). We support Ukraine in its fight for truth and light. 

Scrolling back to our region, we have the lifting of restrictions in Alberta—perhaps prematurely by the AB government…so we proceed with caution, as we’ve tasted the “best summer ever” concept that fell flat last year. Now we all are worn out, burnt out, and want this COVID threat behind us. We all want to play in the sun and move on from the past two years. 

Ready For Summer

The best action is to prepare to play this summer, form our teams, register as players looking for teams, join coach-based programs to prepare for outdoor play and anything else that suits you. We move forward by taking the next steps, registering and getting ready for kick off. The sooner we get back to routines, the better for us all.

All of our spring and summer programs are active on our Spartan Soccer website and since registration opened last month, we have been greeted with new teams and new players joining our programs. The rapid onboarding system is easy to get your teams and players registered in less than a few minutes. Come join us and have fun with our growing family of players and teams. Check out our new collage page, it shows off many photos right back to when we started in 2017. See the laughter, friendships, good vibes, and better soccer. If you’ve got a photo of your time in Spartan, please send it to us and we’ll add it.

Premium Turf

We prefer the premium experience for our players and that is why Spartan Soccer exclusively offers league plays at locations with artificial turf. We like this, it offers increased game consistency since the pitch is always stable and smooth (no rough patches, bare spots, etc.), with the convenience of parking, availability of clean washrooms, and a longer season—using stadium lights to give an exciting and light experience for lovers of soccer. Alberta summers are short, so it’s best to keep playing when possible. However, true Spartans are hardcore and play in the rain and snow. 

We also think the 9v9 format we offer is superior to other programs, and last year was a great demonstration of that, as it was enjoyed by many. And we stress, it is best to use turf shoes on turf fields. Cleats on turf will cause issues and increased injury (MCL and ACL tears, for example) due to too much grip. This year, we plan to incorporate a playoff format to end the season in a 11v11 style, which is in development mode now.

*MARCH BONUS* 

Any new team to Spartan gets a full set of 20 numbered jerseys!

More Soccer Options

As a reminder, when you registered on a team in our league, you also get the benefit of subbing for free on any Spartan League team when requested. As well as playing in our drop-in program as a bonus, too. 

We also invite guest COED teams from other leagues or groups into Spartan for a friendly game to try us out. We plan to host an All Star tournament during the season. The Spartan Championship returns in Sept. (September is the anniversary month of when we started in 2017). The GoT (Game of Trophies) returns in Dec. We are bringing back our SUB LIST: $30/year and $10/game.

For the Snow Soccer (LIT UP) program, we’ve prorated the fees to reflect the two months left of the season. As of today, the fee is $50.

Our contest Share A Story, described in the Jan. and Feb. newsletters, is still on. Send  submissions to us and win. We will start to post winners shortly.

Share A Story Prizes

First 30: LIT UP Soccer ($50 value)

Next 30: $50 voucher for any of our programs

Did you know?

One of our Spartans is Illarion Shulakewych, a Ukrainian who owns High Stick Vodka. We love his brand and we’ve tried the vodka. It is the best! Check out: highstickvodka.com

Stay Updated and Follow Us on Social Media 

The best way to stay up to date on all things Spartan is to follow or join our various social media platforms. On Facebook and Instagram we feature interviews with our players, and show short game videos of Spartan leagues and Cohorts action. It helps us to recruit more players and subs, and to grow our soccer family. Follow us and subscribe to our newsletter too:

Spartan Newsletter – Apr 2022

Spring is an exciting time with snow melts, longer days, birds chirping and singing, more sunshine: adds lift to your stride. It’s energizing on different levels. The snow returns giving pause, a bit of gloom, melts, and the up cycle continues. It reminds me of playing soccer when you get the ball, start making moves, pace jumps, a break away, then a defender steals the ball, gloom for a moment, then back at it.

Spring reminds us to get back at it: get ready, primed, and get going. 

There’s something about playing soccer, or any sport, but footie is the juice that does it for me. The game cuts my stressors: I’m focused on the moment, cardio boost, team work, stopping a play, solid pass, rush up field, a set piece banking a goal, cheering the victory, and post game laughter and libations with friends. Others will ask, Teo who did you just describe, cuz so not you? Then they laugh and laugh. And I channel my Bart Simpson retorting, ‘eat my shorts’.

Soccer adds to our dignity and so deeply missed these past few years. I estimate 1-2 years for Alberta soccer to return to normal post pandemic, assuming no further outbreaks. Many are still COVID hesitant to return, but experts say outdoors is safer over indoors. 

I wish to instil some hope, and perhaps gentle urging to those worried about coming back with this message. Please don’t wait or hesitate, for quickly it will be July and far more quickly it will be September. The summer will pass and you may regret not jumping in sooner. We will have fun, as last summer, and we’d rather have it with you. Come. The Spartan fam misses you.

It’s exciting to see teams and players registering in our programs each season. We’ve focused COED into separate leagues: Tuesday league (St. Albert) and Friday league (Edmonton). We are playing exclusively at turf based stadiums for the best experience possible. Join now and have fun with us. The best experience and money value is with Spartan. We guarantee that.

More perks for you:

  • Guest Player: try us out a few times for free
  • Sup Pool: waived $30 yearly fee until April 15
  • 2021 Return players: $20 off individual player fees
  • All repeat players for each flight: $20 off, too 
  • New to Spartan: Join in a group of 4 and get a deal
  • Spartans who recruit 3 new players as a group get a sweet deal
  • Pre COVID Adult COED players: $50 discount due to cancelled season
  • Pre COVID Masters COED players: $120 discount due to cancelled season
  • Introducing the Spartan Miles Reward program on website soon
  • You get a brand new car…no, wait, sorry, that’s Oprah…
  • New teams to Spartan: a set of 20 numbered jerseys

A reminder that when you register on a team in our league you can sub free on any Spartan team when requested. You get the Drop In program as a bonus, too. These are features you will not find elsewhere. Click on the Programs tab on our website, find your thing, then hit the Register button and get going.

Some Sad News 

Our recent calls to players surveyed since COVID:

  • Some have moved or quit soccer for other sports/lifestyle
  • Injuries, surgeries, new family, job changes, tragedies, family loss due to COVID
  • Reduced income
  • Depression
  • Low confidence to return
  • Many have not played sports since 2020

Depression…

The pandemic has placed a tremendous strain on all of us. We all want to get back to a ‘normal’ or pre-covid lifestyle. Get help. Don’t wait.

Info: Mental Health

Mental Health Line: 1-877-303-2642 (Toll free)

Stay Updated and Follow Us on Social Media 

May Newsletter

Spring is in the air! So much excitement building for the pending outdoor seasons. Footie has been happening under Spartan (check our videos). The road towards outdoor conditioning started. Yet, we remind everyone to carefully ease into the outdoor programs as we exit the indoor conditioning lest you incur avoidable injuries. Excitement always manages to push many of us to untethered exuberance levels as we over estimate what we can do when not ready. The past two years has created such tensions and frustrations in each of us that things appear surreal. We just want to escape it all and run full tilt. Just pace yourself and ease back into things so that you don’t risk losing the summer. We are all on this journey together and it has become easy to forget that everyone is facing hardship in some way.  My momma always said, “if you got nothing nice to say then say nothing at all”. I would add that a smile is the fastest virus we can spread. It vaccinates bad moods.

Our COED starts May 6 (Fridays) and May 10 (Tuesdays) as two separate leagues. COED Fridays is at UofA and COED Tuesdays are in St. Albert as 90 minutes games via 9v9 format. These leagues are played exclusively at turf stadiums for the premium soccer experience. 

We revived our famous Sub Pool program for those whom want to test drive the Spartan leagues and also for those whom can’t commit to a team as a regular – also used as a way to trial a player before recruiting to a team. As a Sub Pool player you can sub on a team on either of our COED leagues when requested. 

This summer we will manifest a Drop In program for those looking for casual footie on non league days. Peeps can use this or the Sub Pool program to ease into conditioning at a safe pace. 

We also revive the option to add teams during season without issue. It is a strategic advantage that founded Spartan in 2017 that allows us to pivot and grow quickly with whomever knocks on our door. It also accommodates those teams leaving other soccer associations to jump onboard with Spartan. Our rapid on-boarding system gets things done in minutes via online portal or phone app. Even our player ID system is built into the phone app. Also our officials are armed with iPads with digital gamesheets ready with every player’s face for each team. We be tech slick!

In June our Adult Keeper training programs starts and is the best way to prepare or improve your skills. These are capped at a 4 person class size, 4x 90 minute sessions on Saturdays and are guaranteed to improve you or full refund. 

Also in June we debut an Intro To Soccer program for youths that haven’t played soccer in a while or wish to try, this can include the parents, too. It can be viewed as a family soccer program if you wish to join with your brood. This program is 4x Saturdays as a 60 minute group training session with scrimmages. Suitable for ages 8-15.

Let’s also celebrate a success of one of our Spartans, Drake Farmer, who has his first book published called “Addicted To Hope: 7 Transformational Truths for the Weary, Defeated, and Just Plain Stuck”. He warned that it has religious concepts in it, but I didn’t care as we should celebrate successes regardless of scope. Book on Amazon here: Drake’s Book!

Also for added fun, this is the month of the Rainmaker Rodeo, taking place in St. Albert. I kindly encourage you all to follow this amazing event on various social media channels, and, of course, go there. Super selection of rock and country bands are planned for this year for the May 27 weekend! Link: Rainmaker Rodeo

Finally, May 2 – 8 is the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Mental Health Week. In my view  a serious issue for all of us to some degree or another. There is no shame in getting help or talking to someone. The pandemic has changed everything in our lives and no one is spared. Check in with your friends if they’ve gone quiet. If you’re alone then please know someone wants to hear from you. If you can, then please call a friend. If you can’t, then please call the numbers provided in this link: Wellness Info

Stay Updated and Follow Us on Social Media 

June Newsletter

The frenzy leading up to soccer outdoors was staggering. So many rushed back into it, perhaps too quickly, and without much caution, as injuries have racked up as reported to us from players in other leagues. It gave pause to consider how players should transition from indoor to outdoor, from carpet to turf and grass, as well as, the frequency of play relative to rest. We’ve noticed even high level athletic players were going at it too hard and found them limping around in our games after racking up injuries and fatigue elsewhere. While it is great to get back at it, it is best that we try to sprinkle some moderated pace so that the season can be enjoyed fully until the end. There’s nothing that makes me more miserable than suffering for weeks and months with an injury I could have avoided had I just throttled back a bit. Sadly it is too common that players do not engage post game stretching to wring out toxins and lactic acid from muscles.

Getting back to grass play after indoor with cleats activates muscles and tendons in a different way that yields to over exertion, early fatigue, and cramping. The same issues are amplified to a higher rate when using grass cleats on turf as the grip is too strong in an ungiving surface increasing strains resulting in more serious injuries. Grass cleats on turf are shown to increase MCL and ACL injuries by 50%. Best to use the right shoes for each surface. I play on both surfaces in different leagues and I do prefer the luxury of turf over of grass.

Some former Spartans have donated their game credits as they have left soccer entirely, or have moved out of region. The criteria requested by them was that we pay it forward to those whom are financially in need to help them play soccer. We are doing that now. The game credits arose from pre COVID when our season was cut short and games unplayed. The credits range from $50 – $120.

Spartans whom donated their credits in a pay it forward manner:

Nikita Balay

Ryan Brolley

Adriana Elisa Martinez

Sarah Fulmer

Our outdoor seasons (flights) are two months long each and we plan for three flights each summer. We currently offer two separate COED leagues: Tuesday in St. Albert, Friday in Edmonton. Both are played exclusively at turf stadiums for the optimum soccer experience. Nothing but the best for our Spartans! Our first flight sold out and finishes June month end. Our second flight starts in July and registration is open. Repeat players and teams get a special discount for the next flight. You can join as a single, group, or team via our website by selecting Programs on the top menu bar, then select Register, which takes you to our secure online portal for registration. From there find the option you wish and complete. 

We are developing our Open Mens division again for this summer on grass for a mid week league. Contact us if you wish to join or bring your teams to us for the Spartan way. It will be 11v11 format. Also aiming for a July start.

We will also offer a special invitation to any female player from EDSA, SASA, SPDSA, and even the ESSC to try out our COED system as a guest from now until the end of July. 

Use this link: Female Guest Player

Speaking of females, our EDSA Womens Div 4 team debuted last month. Great team, fun personalities, and a passion for soccer. We are recruiting for a few spots to fill, so kindly send us an email and we’ll get you set up on the squad: info@spartansoccer.ca

We also debuted a new masters team in SAMMRL. Also a fine group of gentlemen who will likely climb to the top spot in that division this summer. We are still recruiting spots and a player who can be backup keep if needed.

This brings our total count of external teams to 5 wearing our Spartan brand. We be pumped! Come join our squads.

On sad note, we’ve seen a document from EDSA expressing concerning for the violence and disrespect game officials have endured. It is impacting their league. While Spartan does not have this issue currently, we condemn any players that do not show respect to game officials. Referees play the most important part of the game to ensure we have order, regulations, and safety for all. Violence to a referee or player is akin to spitting upon the whole league and if you are such a person whom commits such cowardice then you don’t belong in sports. It is unfortunate that these behaviours are amplified by the frustrations and stress induced by the pandemic and weak economy. It is understandable that we all need an outlet for the stress, but if you can’t manage this or other toxic behaviour on the field then you are not wanted. 

And finally, 

Grow The Spartan Tribe! 

Stay up to date, follow, or join our various social media. On Facebook and Instagram we feature interviews with our players, and show short game videos of Spartan leagues and Cohorts action. You may wonder where we post those videos of our games, pictures of players and MVPs, and the snippets of booming tunes we play during games you can find them here: