New semi-pro soccer club seeks players

Northern Peninsula Football Club tryouts set March 8

SEQUIM — A team name has been selected, a home stadium secured and now Northern Peninsula Football Club — a new semipro soccer squad opening play in late April — needs to find some players.

The new Western Washington Premier League Second Division team will play a 10-game schedule from April 25 to July 11, with five home games set on Saturdays at Memorial Field in Port Townsend.

Practices will be held in Sequim a couple of times a week.

“This is a soccer club for the entire northwest Olympic Peninsula — players from Hood Canal Bridge to Forks and anywhere in between,” said NPFC club manager Joost Besijn of Port Townsend.

Tryouts for the team will be held at the Albert Haller Playfields, 500 N. Blake Ave., in Sequim at 1 p.m. Sunday, March 8. Players will pay a $30 tryout fee (cash or check) that will go toward startup expenses for the team.

To register for the tryout session, email [email protected].

“We have to fill the entire starting lineup and reserves, so probably about 22 roster spots,” Besijn said.

“All the positions are open. I’ll participate in the tryouts myself.”

The team would fill a gap in the area soccer community, Besijn said.

“Port Townsend, Sequim and Port Angeles have had for a long time — PT for at least 30 years — a pickup group of adults that come and play soccer. There’s a group that meets three times a week in PT and goes to tournaments, but there’s no official adult soccer club — other than Peninsula College or high school. There’s no opportunity for adults to play at a high level.”

Besijn developed the idea, approached the WWPL, which formed in 2018 and will be adding the Second Division this season, and kept moving up the ladder.

“I went to the county, reserved Memorial Field, collected a group of guys to work with, appointed a head coach [Juan Carlos Cisneros] last week and added our first sponsor Henery Hardware,” Besijn said.

Cisneros is a 2000 Sequim High School graduate who has extensive youth coaching experience with Storm King FC, the Sequim High School team and the Peninsula College men’s soccer team.

Port Townsend boys and girls soccer coach Robert Cantley also will help coach the team. Other members of the area soccer community involved in developing the club include Nate Land, Charlie Houston, Steve Shively and Beau Young.

If selected for the squad, players will need to purchase a $35 player card, bringing total outlay to $65.

But Besijn and Cisneros are interested in keeping costs down and a GoFundMe account has been set up at tinyurl.com/PDN-NPFCSoccer to assist with the startup expenses the new team is encountering — such soccer balls, training equipment and uniforms.

“That was one thing that Juan Carlos really wanted us to do,” Besijn said. “To alleviate any sort of costs from the players to make sure it’s inclusive for everybody. That does make us responsible for the jersey and shorts and other costs.”

NPFC’s logo is a blend of the eastern and western portions of the North Olympic Peninsula — fir trees for its vast tracts of forest lands and Mount Rainier, a prominent vista on sunny days in downtown Port Townsend.

Besijn said ticket prices will be kept low, likely around $5 per match, and a season ticket will be available for purchase soon, along with team merchandise from the club’s website at www.northernpeninsulafc.com.

Fans and interested players also can check out the team’s social media accounts at www.facebook.com/NorthPenFC, www.twitter.com/NorthPenFC or www.instagram.com/northpenfc.

NPFC’s foes in the WWPL Second Division will include Mill Creek’s Gala FC, Gig Harbor’s Harbor Force, ISC Gunners of Issaquah, Lacey FC and Nido Aguila Seattle U-19.

For more information, email [email protected] or call 360-316-9332.

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