KAMLOOPS - The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack men’s soccer team wants to be more ‘fleet of foot’ when they enter their second season in the Canada West.
Head coach John Antulov took a big step forward in that area with the announcement that forward/midfielder Olamide “Ola” Ajibike (pronounced Aji-bike) of Maple Ridge, BC has agreed to join the program in the fall.
Ajibike, whos parents emigrated from Nigeria is currently playing for Mountain United FC and will graduate in June from Maple Ridge Secondary School. One of his teammates on Mountain FC is defender Adam Swanson of North Vancouver, BC who also committed to TRU.
“TRU gives me more opportunity to get more playing time and also to make a good impact on the team,” says the 5’10” Ajibike. “The campus is more beautiful than any of the other places I looked at. I also feel that I can most realize my dreams academically and athletically at a place like TRU.”
Ajibike was also looking at Simon Fraser University, the University of the Fraser Valley and Douglas College before selecting Thompson Rivers where he will be taking economics courses with an eye to achieving a Bachelor of Business Administration.”
“Ola is very quick, fast and has very good technical abilities,” says Antulov. “He will use his physical assets to create goal scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates. He’ll bring another dimension to our team with his speed. He is able to play anywhere along the midfield line or up front which will give us many options and versatility.”
Ajibike is a proven winner. He was involved in the Vancouver Whitecaps residency program and was a member of the provincial team, a member of the Canadian Junior National team and won the golden boot at the 2014 national championships.
Both Ajibike and Swanson not only play for the Mountain United FC camp under former PACWEST coach Darren Rath but he coached them both with the U13 BC Provincial team.
“Ola’s strength is his athleticism, power and speed. He is explosively fast with and without the ball and when he attack space behind defenders with his speed he is nearly unstoppable. He will add an offensive threat from any of the attacking positions and the ability to score goals.”
“I believe this a great opportunity for Ola to continue his education and play soccer at the highest university level." he said. "TRU is a great school and John Antulov is an excellent coach.”
“I think for me coming in here is just being fit along with being mentally and physically ready before my training session or game,” he explains about what he will have to do differently as he becomes a CIS athlete.”
Antulov sees endless possibilities with Ajibike: “He will work well with Mitch (Popadynetz, midfield-forward, Nelson, BC) and some other prospects which will significantly upgrade our offense. Ola recently went to Germany to try out for professional teams so he is used to playing at a higher intensity.”
“I am excited for the new challenge and to give this school all I got,” Ajibike says. “I am truly blessed for all the opportunities given to me at TRU and all the new friends and faces I will meet in the coming years ahead.”
Other recruits committed to the WolfPack for the upcoming CIS men’s soccer season are: Parker Denton (5’10”, left back-midfield, Coquitlam, BC/Dr. Charles Best Secondary-Surrey United BCSPL), Nolan DeRosa (5’6” midfield, Trail, BC-J.L Crowe Secondary-Kootenay Whitecaps Academy), Haris Djelmo (6’2”, midfield, Kamloops, BC-Sahali Secondary/KYSA U-18 Rep) and Adam Swanson (6’1”, centre-wingback, North Vancouver, BC-Sutherland Secondary/Mountain United FC BCSPL).
The WolfPack begin training camp in early August.