The Thompson Rivers men’s soccer team has recruited Masen Fernandes, a 2017 Sahali Secondary School graduate, to help provide the team with options in midfield.
Fernandes spent his early years in 100 Mile House and had a brief but beneficial spell in the NAIA with Midland University in Nebraska, U.S.
He played six games for the Midland Warriors, an experience which he spoke very highly about when talking to TRU Athletics.
Fernandes explained to TRU Athletics that as a local boy, playing for TRU was always a goal for him and something he saw himself doing somewhere down the line.
He spoke glowingly about his time in the States and how the experience helped him mature and grow as a player.
“The first play was the biggest transition from high school for sure,” he said.
His transition should be made easier by the fact that he has worked with head coach John Antulov before at the Whitecaps Academy and thus should be familiar with his methods.
Antulov told TRU Athletics that he believes Fernandes’ experience in America should help him better settle in to life with the WolfPack.
“Passing and vision are my main strengths,” Fernandes said, two attributes which will be key to his success as a WolfPack player.
It will be fascinating to see him play in the WolfPack system alongside the likes of Mitch Popadynetz and it will be interesting to see how often he plays and where exactly in the system coach Antulov plays him.
Antulov expressed his belief that with players graduating and recent departures, Fernandes is very likely to get a reasonable amount of game time. Game time will be crucial if he is to improve.
“Masen is one of the most well-rounded players I have had the pleasure of coaching, versatile and just as much a threat defensively as he is offensively,” said former teacher and coach Marty Bartucci.
Despite the recruitment of Fernandes, Antulov is still looking for players to help fill out the roster.
“I think we have a few more spots to fill. We need some depth and the ability to keep our skill up if we sustain suspensions or injuries,” he said.
After a stellar 2017-18 season the WolfPack soccer team will look to continue growing and that will start with training camp in August.