Back in November, Jan Pirretas made history becoming the first-ever TRU athlete to be drafted by a professional sports team.
The Spaniard from Barcelona was picked second overall in the second inaugural Canadian Premier League-U Sports draft by Pacific Football Club, a team based out of Victoria. The draft grants players selected the opportunity to sign a special contract to play professional soccer and university soccer while simultaneously continuing their studies.
Before he signs a contract, he must prove that he is good enough for the professional level of play. On March 1, he travelled to Tofino for his first week of pre-season trials with his new club.
“I think it went well. It took me a little bit to get used to the intensity. It is a much higher pace than U-Sports,” explained Pirettas. “You need to think a lot quicker and move the ball faster. I focused on playing simple and not holding onto the ball for longer than I needed to.”
Pirettas has had an impact with TRU since joining in 2017 following a career in England at the youth level for the professional team Blackburn Rovers Football Club. With his vast experience, he racked up eight goals and four assists as a center-back over the course of his three years with the Wolfpack.
To add to his resume, he showed his leadership by becoming the team captain in 2019. At the age of twenty-one, he will go down as one of the best signings in team history.
“I’m just thrilled for Jan,” exclaimed head coach John Antulov. “Not only is this great for him personally, but it also is big for our program. Now people will realize that there is a professional opportunity available for players who come to TRU. It sounds like he did very well and I’m excited to hear what happens next.”
Pirettas is now back in Kamloops and will have to wait for the coach’s decision on whether or not he will be chosen to continue on with the team. In the meantime, he will practice with the TRU team and keep his fingers crossed.