Richmond FC is launching its girls’ soccer program this year with none other than former Team Canada coach Even Pellerud in a leadership position.
Pellerud is one of the biggest names in the world of women’s soccer with Richmond FC calling him "women's soccer royalty." He will be serving as new head of coaching and education where he’ll mentor club coaching staff, help design the women’s program and make guest appearances at training sessions.
Pellerud coached the Canadian women's national team for a decade, getting them to a fourth-place finish in the FIFA 2003 Women's World Cup.
He also led the women's national team of Trinidad and Tobago recently. In 1995, he steered the national women's team of his native Norway to victory in the Women's World Cup.
“We're still coming to grips with it,” said Rein Weber, chair of Richmond FC. “Having access to Even goes beyond anything we thought we'd be able to do as a club. Professional teams would love to have Even working with them in this way, and here we are, a little volunteer-run community sports outfit, pulling in one of women's soccer's greatest minds to help us achieve the next level.”
The news follows last week's announcement that Pellerud's former assistant coach for Team Canada, goalkeeping specialist Marius Roevde, has taken a new role with Richmond FC as executive director.
“We said we had some big things planned when I arrived, but I don't think anyone understood how big,” said Roevde. “When I explained what we're planning to do in Richmond, to build a grassroots club that can become as well run and successful as youth clubs in Europe, to offer high level programming to every child who wants it, to work with schools and bring in girls programming, to offer programs regardless of skill, I meant it – and Even was only too happy to help with that vision.”
He added that the Canadian Soccer Association doesn’t want clubs divided along gender lines, so Richmond FC plans to deliver high-quality programming to both boys and girls.