The Steinbach soccer park was busy on Saturday with Hanover Soccer Days featuring a game between the Hanover Legends and AC Italia. 

Hanover Soccer Club President Norm Anderson says it was a great way to mark 24 years since the club began in Steinbach. 

“The bit that brings extreme joy to my heart is that I'm now seeing the young players that come into our team coaching their kids in the mini program,” he says. “So, the next generation has already started to come through. And it's really fantastic that we're on this fantastic facility here, this is definitely one of the premier outdoor grass soccer fields in the province.” 

Looking back on the beginnings of the club, Anderson recalls his team’s first game in Winnipeg, playing in the lowest division. 

“The craziest thing was our goaltender was a car salesman or manager of car sales, and he was on the phone selling a car in the middle of the game, and then he said, ‘oh, hold on a minute, I've gotta put you on hold,’ he put the phone down and he went and saved the ball, and then he kicked it back out and went back to his phone call,” Anderson recalls with a laugh. “We won that game 17-0, it was unbelievable, and we had a great year.” 

During the feature game on Saturday, it was evident that Anderson was not the only player who was having fun playing with some teammates from those early years.

Hanover Legends and AC Italia soccer players group photo.Hanover Legends and AC Italia, Hanover Soccer Days 2023.

“The feeling of comradery has been absolutely unbelievable,” the club president says. 

He notes most of the players were in their 40s and 50s back then and to still be playing the game, Anderson says that shows soccer is a sport for all ages. 

During the soccer game on Saturday, the IRAL Colour Fest was happening next to the field with a DJ providing the soundtrack for the day. It was a fun, family-friendly atmosphere.

Hanover Soccer Days included several mini-games as well as youth and adult league games. 

Here are some photos from Hanover Soccer Days and IRAL Colour Fest 2023.