Lots to add / comment on but have a meeting to prep for... there were plenty of issues for all of us back then. I'll try and construct a response this weekend.RANT ALERT
I am SICK of the argument that, "Well, other sports costs a lot of money too, what's the big deal?"
Firstly, look closely at the elite baseball level, they are doing way, way more in BC with way less costs. When you have a program like Langley Blaze that have close to 100% of their players going on to professional / university / National programs after graduation, and doing it for a lot less costs to parents, questions need to be asked.
Secondly, I DON'T GIVE A FCUK ABOUT OTHER SPORTS! I care about football! I want our players to gain professional opportunities, and our National teams to be in contention for Olympics / World Cups. Full stop.
I point to a time where we were on the right path, and my generation of players (born 65-80 ish) didn't need to have low income parents take on a second job to afford the programs. The programs found the good players, and made it easy to develop them further. If you were good, you moved up. No glass ceilings, no barriers, no coaches blocking the way to "keep a group together". If you were in C, and dominating, you moved up to B. Dominate B, move into A. Dominate A, you get a try-out to Metro. Win the try-out, and some kid would get dropped to A.
In Coquitlam, that was commonplace. Hungry players worked to overcome deficiencies so they could fight for that promotion up the ladder. Nobody had to tell us to go get 2,000 touches in the backyard every day. We walked to school w/ the ball in a net and practiced juggling the whole way.
Our generation produced some really good players. Too bad the professional pathway fell apart. But, I guarantee you, a @Regs (and so many guys, really, a bunch) would have been an MLS player if there were a pathway when he was young. That's all for compliments, Merry Christmas.
Now? We don't even give ourselves a chance at identifying all the best players and creating that competition. We have a pathway, great, now we've killed the funnel.
You want your kid to be the top player? Fantastic, hope he understands that if he's really good, his path will be easy, and he won't get the true competition he needs to excel.