Abbotsford Mariners

Abbotsford Mariners

Football club infobox
clubname = Abbotsford Mariners

fullname = Abbotsford Mariners
nickname = The Mariners
founded = 2003
ground = Bateman Park
capacity = 1,200
chairman = flagicon|Canada Brad Nicholl
manager = flagicon|Canada Shaun Lowther
league = USL Premier Development League
season = 2008
position = 6th, Northwest Division



Abbotsford Mariners are a Canadian soccer team, founded in 2003. The team is a member of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League (PDL), the fourth tier of the American Soccer Pyramid, and plays in the Northwest Division of the Western Conference against teams from Ogden, Provo, Salem, Spokane, Tacoma, Vancouver and Yakima.

The Mariners play their home matches at Bateman Park in the city of Abbotsford, British Columbia. The team's colors are black, white and red. Until 2007 the team was known as the Abbotsford Rangers, but changed their name prior to the 2008 season to reflect the name of their parent organization.

2008 Roster



* USL PDL Northwest Division Champions 2006

Competition History

The Abbotsford area has long had a history of competitive developmental teams, including Abbotsford 86ers Select in 2000, Abbotsford 86ers in 1999 and Abbotsford Athletes in Action in 1998; Abbotsford Rangers joined the PDL as a 'provisional team' in 2003, playing at Rotary Stadium, but struggled on the field, losing their first eight games, and not picking up a win until mid-June when they topped Cascade Surge 3-2 off goals by Jason Jorgensen, Brad Peetoom and Spencer Schmidt. The victory sparked an unexpected 4-game winning streak which included a season's best 3-1 victory over Calgary Storm Select, but the resurgence was too little too late for the team, and the season ended with them in fourth place, and Jason Jorgensen as the top scorer.

2004 saw the Rangers move into a new home at Bateman Park, and hire a new player-manager in the shape of former Hamilton Academical and Canada defender Colin Miller, who had been in the Canadian squad for the 1986 FIFA World Cup. Despite Miller's presence, Abbotsford's results did not improve greatly; they did not pick up their first win until the fourth game (2-1 over Yakima Reds), and only managed three more victories all season. Things hit an all time low on the final day of the season with their 5-0 demolition at the hands of Cascade Surge, and they again finished way off the pace, 19 points behind champions Cascade.

2005 saw Abbotsford slip even further behind their competition, finishing their season a full 29 points behind defending champions Cascade Surge in the Northwest division, with just 3 wins and 21 goals all year. Abbotsford suffered greatly on the road, losing 5-1 and 4-1 to Cascade, and didn't pick up a single point until their 2-1 victory away to Yakima Reds in mid-June. Ironically, all of Abbotsford's wins were against Yakima, triumphing two more times, including a 1-0 final day victory on a goal by the consistent Jason Jorgensen. Nevertheless, Abbotsford's poor form was worrying for all involved.

Then, quite inexplicably, everything changed in 2006. Miller's men were hot from the get-go, with an opening day tie with newcomers Tacoma F.C., and then back-to-back victories over Yakima Reds and the other Northwest newcomers, Ogden Outlaws. June saw the team embark on an unpredecented 6-game unbeaten streak, the highlight of which was a 4-0 road thumping of Cascade Surge. As the season wound down, Abbotsford were one of three teams vying for the playoffs, knowing that two victories in their final two games would take them into uncharted territory. A 4-0 triumph over Cascade - which included a hat trick from Sean Crocker - was followed by a comprehensive 3-0 win over Tacoma, and the Rangers had their first Northwest title, and were off to the playoffs. Sadly, their post season was a short one, as they lost 3-2 to Orange County Blue Star first time out, despite being 2-0 up at half time. Still, it was a huge achievement for the Canadians, who had been buoyed by top scorers Sean Crocker and Cameron Wilson, who both notched six goals each.

Colin Miller left Abbotsford in the 2006 close season to become Billy Davies' assistant at Derby County in the English Premier League, and he was replaced by former Canadian international Shaun Lowther for the 2007 campaign. Initially the managerial change seemed to affect Abbotsford's excellent form, the team picking up just one win and four ties in their first ten game. However, following their come-from-behind 3-2 win against Yakima Reds at the end of June, something clicked into place for Abbotsford: from that point on they began to utterly demolish their opponents, thrashing Cascade Surge 4-0, topping Yakima Reds 3-0, beating Tacoma Tide 4-1, and finishing the year with an absolutely astonishing 11-0 win over Spokane Spiders which included a double hat-trick SIX goals from striker James Severn. Unfortunately, this late rally was not enough for them to make the playoffs, and they eventually finished a close third in the table behind BYU Cougars and Tacoma Tide.

Notable former players

* Tyler Baldock
* Nigel Marples
* Colin Miller


* Colin Miller 2004-06
* Shaun Lowther 2007-date


* Rotary Stadium, Abbotsford, British Columbia 2003
* Bateman Park, Abbotsford, British Columbia 2004-date

Average Attendance

*2008: 160
*2007: 180
*2006: 196
*2005: 218

External links

* [ Abbotsford Mariners]

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