Roger Gilbert joked that he wished the McHale family had more children.
The local family has three boys — Josh, Mathew and Michael — who play for the Langley United Youth Soccer Association.
And that prompted parents Terry and Helen to contribute $30,000 to the local soccer association to help fund the construction of the Willoughby Community Park South Fieldhouse.
Terry McHale also coaches for the club.
“We’re challenging other businesses and community leaders in Langley to step up and contribute cash or goods and services to help make this home for Langley soccer a clubhouse that will serve soccer well for decades to come,” McHale said.
“With more than 3,000 boys and girls playing every year, soccer is helping build Langley’s strong sense of community and our family and business is happy to support the cause.”
The two-storey, 4,000-square foot facility will provide washrooms, change rooms, a concession, community meeting room and much-needed storage space for local user groups.
It will also serve as Langley United’s main headquarters.
The project will cost $994,000 and is construction should be completed in the fall.
It is located behind R.E. Mountain Secondary, between two of the Willoughby Community Park artificial turf fields.
“It has been a dream of Langley United soccer to have our own clubhouse,” said Gilbert, second vice-president with the association.
He was speaking on Friday afternoon at a sod-turning ceremony at the future site of the facility.
While the idea had been circulating for a few years on building a clubhouse, a LUYSA trip to Sweden for the Gothia Cup really confirmed the idea.
“We saw in Europe how the clubhouse is a source of pride for the club’s youth soccer program,” Gilbert said.
“A place where you have all your trophies on view and a central home for soccer in the community.”
Having the fieldhouse will allow the players to say ‘this is our clubhouse,’” he added.
The Township of Langley is a major partner and the project was designed by Marcon Construction.
“The new field house will provide access to a number of amenities that can be enjoyed by all park users and is sure to become a valuable community resource,” said acting mayor Grant Ward.
“It will certainly be put to good use.”
The Township is contributing $459,750 to the project and Langley United will provide $364,250.
There is also a legacy contribution of $70,000 from the Township of Langley 2010 BC Summer Games Society.
Langley FC, another local soccer association, is providing $75,000 while Langley Field Lacrosse is committing $24,000.
The money will get both groups storage space in the fieldhouse.
“Community groups that use and enjoy the park have become significant funding partners,” said David Leavers, the Township’s director of recreation, culture and parks.
“Thanks to their vision, generosity and hard work, the entire community will benefit from this new field house.”
Langley United has already raised $87,000 and set a target of $400,000, which includes in-kind goods and services.
“It is heartening to see the goodwill youth soccer has in Langley transformed into donations and cash and goods in kind towards the clubhouse capital campaign,” said Langley United Youth Soccer Association president Betty Boucas.
“Youth soccer clearly has a special place in the hearts of thousands of Langley residents, coaches and players both past and present.”