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North Van coach takes over Whitecaps women

THE Vancouver Whitecaps have named Jesse Symons as head coach of the women's team, replacing former coach Hubert Busby. The North Vancouver native spent the previous season coaching Mountain United's under-15 and -16 girls teams in the B.C.

THE Vancouver Whitecaps have named Jesse Symons as head coach of the women's team, replacing former coach Hubert Busby.

The North Vancouver native spent the previous season coaching Mountain United's under-15 and -16 girls teams in the B.C. Soccer Premier League.

Symons began his coaching career with the West Vancouver Soccer Club in 1998. He has a lengthy resume that includes coaching Team B.C. to a women's gold medal in the 2009 Canada Games.

"It was unbelievable," Symons said of guiding his squad to Canada Games gold. "It's one of the highlights of my coaching career so far. All of the players were part of the Whitecaps program for two years leading into the event. It was an amazing experience."

As coach he plans to maintain the Whitecaps reputation for player development.

"They do a very good job developing players from Vancouver," Symons said. "I want to stay on the same line with the development of players and develop players that can help our team and country."

He also coached the Whitecaps Girls Prospect team for five years, winning two Pacific Coast Soccer League premier division titles.

Symons stresses the importance of creativity and possession.

"I am definitely known as an attacking-minded coach," he said. "I like having a team that has the ball and is creative and exciting and really is able to get the fans behind them."

Symons spent time as an assistant to Busby in 2010.

"He was a great coach with the team, and he kept the winning tradition and development focus with the team," Symons said.

"We are thrilled to welcome Jesse back to the club," said Whitecaps FC president Bob Lenarduzzi in a release. "We are thoroughly committed to the long-term development of Canadian talent through our girls and women's programs, and Jesse fits that philosophy. He has an excellent record of youth development, he's passionate, and he has a well defined vision for the program."

Last season the Whitecaps were 8-2-4 but lost to the Atlanta Silverbacks in the WLeague semifinals.

npescod@nsnews.com