Ryan Glanville likes to joke about his age, and at 31 it’s not hard to imagine that the leading scorer for the WolfPack men’s soccer team receives quite a few of them from his younger teammates as well.
Moving from his hometown of Williams Lake to attend UBC in 2002, Glanville didn’t play for the perennial powerhouse Thunderbirds for his first few years of University but was eventually talked into trying out by one of his friends.
“Another guy from Williams Lake went to UBC and wanted someone to be at training camp with, so he convinced me to come,” Glanville said.
Stepping into a team as highly touted as UBC was a bit of a culture shock for Glanville, who had to adjust to the success expected at the program that has won the most CIS men’s soccer championships in history.
“If we didn’t win a national championship that year it would have been a disappointment, and getting into that mindset was huge for me.”
Glanville and his UBC team would go on to win the national championship in 2007.
Continuing to play high level soccer after leaving UBC, he has spent the last seven years playing in the top division of the Vancouver Metro Soccer League for West Van F.C.
“Soccer has never really stopped for me,” he said.
After moving to Kamloops, Glanville decided to go back to school and pursue an MBA. He was excited when head coach John Antulov approached him about playing for the WolfPack.
“I never thought I would be playing college soccer at this age, but it just sort of landed in my lap,” Glanville said.
With five goals and two assists through the first six games, Glanville leads the WolfPack in both goals and points. It is clear that he’s been putting his championship pedigree to use on the field, but a player with his experience can be just as valuable to his team off the pitch as well.
“Instead of just going out and doing your job, you are trying to encourage, support and get some of those younger guys to a higher level,” Glanville said.
The ability to impart his knowledge onto the younger players is sure to prove invaluable to a WolfPack team that is continuing the arduous process of acclimatizing to the level of play in the CIS.
And like any good leader, Glanville is quick to ascribe success to the team rather than take credit as an individual. “I have been the benefactor from a lot of our team’s hard work. It’s my name on the score sheet but there is a lot more to it,” he said.
All CIS athletes get five years of eligibility during which they can compete, and after not playing university soccer right after high school, Glanville still has two years of eligibility remaining after this season. He said that he has no qualms about continuing to play after his 33rd birthday.
“I haven’t ruled anything out. I got another couple seasons and if the body can hold out for another couple of years, who knows.”
Any competitive athlete has that internal passion that compels them to keep going through the endless conditioning runs, long road trips and early morning workouts, for Glanville that inner flame just refuses to be extinguished.
“I love the game and I’ve always loved it, I want to play as long as possible.”