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Iron Heart Vernon soccer club kicks off season

The team is playing in the eight team North Okanagan Soccer League.
The Iron Heart soccer club in Vernon has kicked off their season in the North Okanagan Soccer League. (Contributed)

With the 2023 North Okanagan Soccer League (NOSL) already kicked off, one Vernon team is looking to take the league by storm.

Formerly called Sir Winston’s FC, the Vernon men’s soccer program has had a rocky past, marred by failures to secure reliable endorsement and an ever-changing roster and leadership team.

Stable success has always seemed to elude the elite soccer players of Vernon. However, this season, Brandon Richter and Donovan Righthand-Osterreicher are the key figures in spearheading the men’s soccer program.

“I grew up here playing house soccer with my friends,” said Richter. “Vernon is a great community and an even better place to live. It just sucks how there is no competitive team here that wins”

It has been four years since a Vernon team has won a competitive NOSL title. Since the duo took over the club in 2022, the team went from relegation form to fourth place last outdoor season. Most recently, they appeared in the 2022/23 Vernon Toyota Indoor Centre’s winter league final and achieved a second-place finish.

“I am blessed to have added exceptional players to my roster this season,” added Osterreicher. “We have decided to recruit some talented internationals this year to raise the team’s overall standard. With players from the Atletico De Madrid Academy and other prestigious European development programs, we hope this will help bring back a sense of pride for men’s competitive soccer in the North Okanagan.”

The team has partnered with Iron Heart gym for the 2023 season, and will be competing in the NOSL under the Iron Heart name.

There are eight teams registered in the league this season, making up Vernon, Salmon Arm and Revelstoke: Vernon United FC, GM Outlaws, Concept Physio, Cantina Vallarta, the defending champion Salmon Arm Beer Badgers, Revelstoke FC and Auto Quest.

“The staff are friendly and usually down for a bit of banter. Iron Heart has changed my life,” Osterreicher explained. “I knew I wanted to join forces and seized the chance as soon as the opportunity came as we have a five-year target of bringing domestic silverware back to the Greater Vernon Area, it is important to build a relationship we can trust.”

Iron Heart started their season off last week with a resounding 2-0 victory over Vernon United.

In the 23rd minute, a world beater free kick from 24 yards out got Iron Heart on the board. Then, in the 67th minute, Abdeljalil Fathallah calmly slotted home a penalty to secure the victory.

The next match for Iron Heart is pegged for Saturday, May 6, against the Beer Badgers at MacDonald Park. Kick off is 6:30 p.m.

For more information on the league, visit

READ MORE: Vernon United chilly in season-opening icebreaker

READ MORE: Canada keeper kicks up soccer skills in Vernon


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Bowen Assman

About the Author: Bowen Assman

I joined The Morning Star team in January 2023 as a reporter. Before that, I spent 10 months covering sports in Kelowna.
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