What was your favourite memory while playing for Fusion?
Our trip to Germany and Austria and tying Bayern Munich was unbelievable and I’ll never forget that feeling. Surf Cup with Jeevan, and Starfire in the early days and Quest preseason (except for running up that hill) were great times that I’ll always remember.
Do you stay in touch with your former teammates?
Yeah, Definitely. We kept the group chat going and probably chat every day. We’re like brothers and we just make fun of each other mostly.
What was the most useful thing that playing for Fusion Football Club taught you to help you perform at the Varsity Level?
Adaptability to different coaching styles, attitude, commitment and work ethic. Alex Elliott, Jeevan Sandhu, Andrew Dunn (Tomato), Laith Matlak and my other coaches really demanded a high work rate and their attention to detail really helped me develop.
What had been the biggest difference playing at the collegiate level compared to youth soccer?
Being away from home is good and bad. You really have to be accountable to yourself both on and off the field. Nobody is there to feed you (thanks mom) and make sure you’re doing the work you need to in the gym and in school. If you fail at any of those things, it’s on you. On field, obviously, the physicality is different but I started playing men’s league early so that I was prepared for playing against and with 25 year old men. I’m pretty lean and I have to do a lot of work to make sure I’m strong enough to hold the ball. Coaches don’t have to answer to parents so they’re a lot more candid and tough which I don’t mind. In University, you really have to earn a spot and constantly work to keep it. It’s never a given.
How have you balanced the school work and your athletic commitments?
Honestly, it’s been tough. The first semester we were travelling every week and it was very challenging missing lectures and having to make up the work. I struggled a lot but during the second semester I’ve definitely gotten into a better balanced routine of studying and training.
What advice would you give to our current athletes in their pursuit for post secondary soccer experience?
For me, it was really important that I play my first year. I knew I’d go crazy sitting on the bench. You really have to think about what’s most important to you, and go with your gut. Coaches can change so I wouldn’t necessarily base a decision solely on the coach but it definitely helps if you feel he/she is someone you can work with. You have to make sure, you’re getting the school program you want, the team’s style of play fits your style and there’s opportunities to get a spot on the field. I’m really lucky here as the other freshman and I have pretty much all played against each other our entire BCSPL careers and have become really close. With the older guys, you obviously have to earn their respect on and off the field but I think that just pushes you to work harder and prove yourself. In terms of schoolwork, try to make sure you have no classes on Fridays and Monday mornings if possible. That will really cut down on the lectures missed.