Cowichan Valley Football Association

Football season just around the corner

by  Don Bodger – Cowichan News Leader Pictorial
posted Aug 21, 2014 at 7:00 PM

85735cowichanAug2214footballCowichan Bulldogs will soon be kicking off another season in the Vancouver Mainland Football League.

Doug (Opie) Williams is returning for a third season to coach the Midget division team.

“A lot of these guys I’ve been coaching for five years,” he said. “All the 18-year-olds, they’ve been with me all the way up from Bantam.

“They know what I want.”

The Bulldogs lost a significant amount of talent to graduation and also some underagers have moved on to the junior or university football ranks. But Williams still expects to field a strong team.

“We’ve got a good core of returning players,” he said.

The Bulldogs open the regular season at home against Comox on Aug. 31.

It’s a bit difficult to field a full complement of players for practices at this juncture, with many still away on summer holidays.

“We’ve got some new players,” said Williams. “Numbers aren’t as high as I’d like.”

Regular practices started Aug. 1. “Being summertime, the turnout is never good,” said Williams.

But it’s starting to pick up, with about 23 out to Monday’s practice.

It’ll take a while for the word to get around, especially since Williams had to alter his recruiting toward the end of the last school term.

“With the school strike, I wasn’t able to get into the schools and recruit new players,” he said.

But he has about seven making the jump from Bantam. “They’re a good group of players moving up,” said Williams.

Much of Williams’ coaching staff remains intact, with a couple of changes.

The league will have 11 teams again this season, with Victoria electing not to compete while Richmond and Cloverdale return after a hiatus.

Williams expects his Cowichan team to contend with the likes of powerhouse North Surrey and Chilliwack will be operating with loads of personnel, having to make cuts.

Trent Jones will be coaching the Bantam team. The Cowichan Junior Bantams are also getting under way with season preparations under the direction of Tim Menzies.