July 14, 2018 4:31 pm
Updated: July 14, 2018 6:32 pm

Former Canada player Patrice Bernier helps encourage local soccer talent

WATCH ABOVE: Patrice Bernier, a former star player with the Montreal Impact, was back on the soccer pitch Saturday to share his knowledge and experience with up-and-coming Montreal-area players.

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A few hundred lucky young athletes got the chance to participate in a clinic with a retired Canadian international soccer player.

Former Montreal Impact midfielder Patrice Bernier was at the Lachine Soccerplexe Saturday, meeting and greeting young players while teaching them a few tricks of the trade.

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“Little clinics like this help because the more time you spend on the ball, the more time you work on your craft. It helps them move along, maybe getting into the national program and one day playing for Canada,” said Bernier.

READ MORE: Montreal Impact’s James Pantemis on his come up from Lakeshore Soccer Club

The clinic, hosted by Allstate and Canada Soccer, supported by the Association Régionale de Soccer du Lac St-Louis, aims to help develop competitive soccer players.

Kids participated in different stations, including a nutrition class, and then got treated to some lunch.

“The World Cup is coming in 2026, and the age group here, they have a real chance of playing for Canada at that World Cup,” said Bernier. “So it’s just sharing a bit of my experience and knowledge that I got from many years of playing.”

READ MORE: ‘FIFA fever’ good for local Montreal soccer clubs, soccer fans alike

Bernier hopes young players will use the World Cup 2026 as motivation, stressing that the upcoming event is great for Canadian soccer.

“I was just like them — I was born in Montreal, I had a dream and I was able to have a career and play 18 years,” he said. “Now, the Impact are in Major League Soccer, the World Cup is coming in 2026 — so it’s just to say it’s possible. You have to work at it, master your craft and believe in yourself.”

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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