Okanagan Premier League commissioner Brandon McCallum (left) and the Div. 1 winning manager Bret Depner for Peachland F.C. (Contributed)

Okanagan Premier League continues growth after successful second season

Commissioner Brandon McCallum expanded the league nearly 50 per cent in year two

The Okanagan Premier League (OPL) successfully wrapped up its second year after nearly doubling its total competing clubs.

After its inaugural year in 2018, league commissioner Brandon McCallum expanded the soccer league into two divisions and 14 teams to allow for a competitive indoor league for serious and recreational players throughout winter.

“It was really good to see more players in the league in year two,” said McCallum.

“Having that opportunity to play indoors plus that competitive feel is definitely something that the players enjoy. We ended up having a good six teams in division two and division one was very competitive, with all five playoff teams having an equal chance to win the championships.”

This year, Peachland F.C. won the Div. 1 title while High Definition Academy won the championships in Div. 2.

McCallum said that expanding the league had its difficulties, but was happy with the growth shown for the league, his passion project, in year two.

“The indoor league has different rules than regular soccer, so players needed to take time to adjust,” he said.

“Just like any league with any sport, there were commitment issues, we just need to make sure we’re set up going into the season.”

READ MORE: Kelowna Owls fall in B.C. provincial championships

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As for next season, McCallum said the league will start organizing a bit earlier in the year to get more players interested in the league and to accommodate more potential teams from the Okanagan.

With more league expansions planned, including a 35-plus division, plans for a coed league and potentially expanding games to the new West Kelowna indoor dome to accommodate growth and pitch time, the success from year two will not be capped going into year three.

“It’s big for me to grow and expand the league throughout the Okanagan as it is named the Okanagan Premier League,” said McCallum.

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