Alberta is the soccer destination, past and future, for a pair of local youth players.
Midfielder Joel Harrison and goalkeeper Sebastian Colyn have had such a successful season, they earned the right to represent B.C. twice, on two different teams.
The two 14 year olds were key cogs with the Surrey United U14 BC Premier League team that was crowned provincial club champion earlier this summer.
And, in doing so, they helped their team punch their ticket to the national U14 club championships being held in Lethbridge, Alta. in October.
In the Provincial Premier Cup final June 29 at South Surrey Athletic Park, Surrey blanked Mountain United 2-0 to earn its second consecutive B.C. gold medal.
This adds to the Surrey side’s second successive league title.
Colyn earned the shutout while Harrison was instrumental in winning ball battles in the midfield area.
Soon after they were both selected in the final phase by BC Soccer for the U14 provincial team that travelled to Calgary in late July to take part in the Canadian regional championships.
The championships consists of every provincial team within their age division facing off against each other, with an all-star game to finish off the week. .
Colyn and Harrison returned July 28 after playing alongside their B.C. teammates in a round robin that featured four teams: Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta North and Alberta South.
Team BC finished with wins over Manitoba and Saskatchewan, a tie with Alberta North, and its lone loss coming to Alberta South.
Harrison was selected to play in the all-star game, which pooled two teams of the top players as selected by the coaches and Soccer Canada reps who were there taking in the event.
“I thought I played well,” Harrison said. “Obviously the scouts thought I played well, too because I made the all-star game.”
Colyn, who competed at the same tournament last year, saw action in two of Team BC’s games, both of which were clean sheets.
“I thought I played really well in the two games I got to play in,” he said.
Goalkeeper is good fit for Colyn, a Langley Christian High School student who says he really enjoys the position.
“I’ve done very well so I’ll continue with that,” he said.
Harrison, who goes to Walnut Grove Secondary, has played soccer since he was five and switched from centre defence to midfield which he says is a “natural position for me.”
Next up for the two is the club nationals in Lethbridge, which is being held at a time of the year when the temperature has the potential to morph from a bit chilly to downright bone-numbing in the prairie province.
Harrison has played in adverse conditions before, even braving the chill that comes with training and playing in January.
He doesn’t think potentially cold or damp weather will be a factor at the national event.
“You’ve just got to know how to play with the conditions, know that they might change during the game,” he said. “The bounces, how the ball rolls… stuff like that.”
As far as what to expect, Harrison said, “I think we should aim to win the tournament.”
Colyn added, “[We should] go in, looking to win our games and playing our best. This is far as we need to go right now, so we need to give our all.”
Surrey United consists of players from across the Fraser Valley and Harrison says the team bonded quickly.
“We’re all almost like brothers,” Harrison said. “It’s great to come off the field knowing we’ve won and as a family. It’s just a great feeling.”
Athlete of many talents
On top of his soccer, Harrison is also an accomplished track and field athlete.
He was involved in two track meets in two weeks recently.
He won a bronze in the Hershey North American Finals in the mile.
Harrison also competed in the pentathlon at the Legion Canadian youth track and field championships at McLeod Athletic Park, where he won a silver medal.
@ Copyright 2013