August 20 2018 Langford- It’s all coming together for Pacific FC. The first professional sports team to represent Vancouver Island in a coast to coast league named their head coach on Monday morning. The team which is set to kick off has now taken the first step in building its on field product ahead of the scheduled 2019 kickoff of the newly formed Canadian Premier League.
The man to lead the charge for Pacific FC is former Danish international Michael Silberbauer . He joins the club after spending the last two seasons at Swiss side FC Luzern as an assistant coach and the Vancouver Island job will be his first chance as a head coach. During his playing career he spent time in the Danish league with AaB Fodbold and FC Copenhagen, as well as the Erevidise’s FC Utrecht, and Switzerland’s BSC Young Boys. While he was at BSC Young Boys he got to know and play alongside Pacific FC president Josh Simpson, it is that connection that kick-started the idea to hire Silberbauer.
“The Canadian Premier League is a unique opportunity, an once-in-a-lifetime chance,” Silberbauer said in an interview with The Times Colonist, and h is right. Until now, Canada has been the only developed country without its own professional soccer league; so when he says how this is a unique chance, it really is, as it can never happen again. Very few people get to be a part of building a sports team from the ground up and the 37 year-old Dane is excited for the opportunity. Although he is named as the head coach, he remains under contract at FC Luzern until the end of the Calendar year. This means that while all the other CPL teams move ahead in the building of their clubs; Pacific FC will have to wait until January first to have their head coach on the ground doing the heavy-lifting. As much as many people would want to take a break after the grueling European season, Silberbauer will be thrown right into the fire; although he stresses “I am not here for a holiday. I am here to work.”
Pacific FC became the first club to name a non-Canadian as a head coach, as fellow CPL clubs HFX Wanderers, Calgary Cavalry, Winnipeg Valour and York 9 have all named coaches from their respective areas.
The club also announced on Monday that Silberbauer will be assisted by James Merriman of Nanaimo, as he connects the coaching staff to the area, albeit in a lesser role than in other CPL sides. Merriman has been the head coach of Whitecaps FC’s U-15 residency program for the past two years and brings an abundance of knowledge on upcoming B.C. talent to the table for the Vancouver Island club.
Written for Northern Starting Eleven