KAMLOOPS - The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack men’s soccer team will have something when they hit the field in 2015 that they haven’t had in a number of years. That is a good supply of keepers.
Head coach John Antulov and the WolfPack are pleased to announce that 6’3” keeper Claye Harsany of High River, Alta., has committed to the CIS and Canada West program and will be at training camp in early August.
Harsany will join fifth year Travis Froehlich (Revelstoke) and second year Morgan Crandlemire (Salmon Arm) at training camp. Harsany played this spring with the Okanagan Minor Soccer Club U-18 selects after training at the Vancouver Whitecap Academy in Vernon from September to February. His outdoor team OMSC plays in a Division 1 Men’s League in Calgary.
“I’m very excited about the great opportunity to play in such a remarkable place as Kamloops and Thompson Rivers University,” says Harsany, who graduated this month from Highwood High School. “ South Central British Columbia is full of noteworthy athletes and I am just honoured to have the opportunity to play in such an atmosphere.”
Harsany will be taking courses with designs to earn a Bachelor of Business Administration degree majoring in Economics and minoring in Environmental Economics and Sustainability Development.
Harsany feels that his shot stopping ability and his ball handling skills are his main strengths along with his agility.
“I feel that I have the strength to demonstrate a good dynamic spring from my set position and in scrambling situations. I communicate well with my outfield players and provide them with a great deal of confidence with my presence on the field. Additionally, my commitment and self-motivation towards achieving a more effective and consistent performance both on and off the field is evident with the extra work I put in.”
Coach Antulov has spoken with both Lumsden and Whitecaps Okanagan Academy keeper coach Kai Tolpinrud after spotting Harsany during the winter.
“We look forward to having Claye join our program this year. He wound up playing for me at the Whitecaps Showcase tournament where I thought he did very well. Kai has been working with him extensively over the last year and a half and he has progressed nicely in that time with his technical skills and confidence. He is still a developing young keeper but is physically big and strong. He has a fantastic work ethic, great attitude, wants to learn and is a really nice young man.”
Antulov says Harsany will benefit working this year with WolfPack keepers coach Allan Connor along with Froehlich.
“He will continue to develop to play at a very high level in CIS. The level of the game will be a massive jump from what he is used to playing but that comes with the territory in playing his position. I believe he is mentally strong enough to rise to the occasion.”
Harsany knows he will have a steep learning curve.
“I think the biggest challenge will be adjusting to the pace and physicality of the CIS. I understand that you can easily be humbled if you aren’t prepared.”
Lumsden says the advancement to CIS is something that his protégé has earned and will be ready for.
“To further develop his game, it is crucial for Claye to have more playing time and decision making opportunities in a more demanding playing environment. I have no doubt that greater exposure to a higher standard of play will be further inspiration for him to develop and excel.”
Harsany will be in training camp in early August along with fellow recruits: Mitchell Popadynetz ( 5’10”, midfield-forward, Nelson, B.C./Maple Ridge Secondary-UBC), Parker Denton ( 5’10”, left back-midfield, Coquitlam, B.C./Dr. Charles Best Secondary-Surrey United BCSPL), Nolan DeRosa (5’6” midfield, Trail, B.C.-J.L Crowe Secondary-Kootenay Whitecaps Academy), Haris Djelmo (6’2”, midfield, Kamloops, B.C.-Sahali Secondary/KYSA U-18 Rep), Olamide Ajibike (5’10”, forward/midfield, Maple Ridge, B.C.-Maple Ridge Secondary/Mountain United FC BCSPL), Adam Swanson (6’1”, centre-wingback, North Vancouver, B.C.-Sutherland Secondary/Mountain United FC BCSPL.)