The University of the Fraser Valley women’s soccer team will have a familiar face leading the program on an interim basis.
Niko Marcina is stepping up to replace departed head coach Rob Giesbrecht after serving as his assistant coach the last five seasons.
Giesbrecht recently left to become Trinity Western U’s Manager of Soccer Operations.
“We’re pleased to have a coach of Niko’s calibre to lead the program on an interim basis,” said UFV athletic director Steve Tuckwood. “Niko is familiar with the program and the players are certainly excited to have him lead.”
Tuckwood said the search for Giesbrecht’s long-term replacement will begin this fall.
With his extensive resume, Marcina should be in the running if he wants the job. The Surrey product is the director of coaching at New Westminster Soccer Club, and also serves as a support staff coach with B.C. Soccer, and as a coach with the Vancouver Whitecaps Academy. He holds a national B coaching license from the Canadian Soccer Association, and a technical director diploma from BC Soccer. He’s previously served as a head coach in the BC Soccer Premier League, leading youth squads from Surrey United SC and Fraser Valley FC to Provincial Cup titles.
Marcina also enjoyed a highly decorated playing career with UBC, helping the T-Birds to national championship wins in 2005 and 2007.
“I’m fortunate to be in a position such as this,” he said. “I’m coming in well prepared, as I’ve been under the tutelage of Rob Giesbrecht for the past five years. He’s taught me quite a bit, and based on that experience, I’m confident going into this position that the players will not only accept what I have to offer in the interim, but I’m positive that they will grow and develop both on and off the field.”
It’s a unique time to take over a program.
Thanks to COVID-19, there will be no Canada West conference competition for soccer this fall. While exhibition play is a possibility, it’s uncertain at what point provincial health regulations would allow for that.
“My main priority will be getting a gauge on the players and how they’re feeling mentally and emotionally in these times,” Marcina said. “I’ll look to build on personal relationships and learn how I can best support them.”
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