Ryan Glanville is a winner.
No matter the jersey he was wearing — a college sweater at UBC for the Thunderbirds or amateur uniforms in the Vancouver Metro Soccer League and the Pacific Coast Soccer League (PCSL) — success has never been far behind for the 31-year-old Williams Lake native.
Now, joining a WolfPack club that went 2-8-2 in its inaugural season in the CIS, Glanville is preparing to show Thompson Rivers University what it takes.
“It’s about getting these guys in that mindset — making sure they have the right habits and they’re getting in the culture of winning,” he told Kamloops This Week.
“Hopefully I can provide some light into what it takes and engrain this culture, because it is a mind shift for some of those guys who haven’t experienced success at that level.”
Glanville and the WolfPack will open the Canada West regular season this weekend at Hillside Stadium against the Trinity Western Spartans tomorrow and the Fraser Valley Cascades on Sunday. Kickoff for both matches is 2 p.m.
Glanville was a major off-season acquisition for WolfPack head coach John Antulov and brings with him an impressive resumé highlighted by goals and championships.
Out of high school, he made the UBC Thunderbirds as a walk-on tryout — an almost unheard of feat on a team that is a perennial CIS contender. He went on to win a national championship with the club.
Following two seasons with the Thunderbirds, he left university soccer and began playing for West Van FC of the Vancouver Metro Soccer League — one of the top amateur leagues in the country — winning multiple league and playoff titles, as well as a Provincial Cup championship.
And, in the year and a half since moving to the Tournament Capital, Glanville helped the Kamloops Heat to the PCSL final in 2014 and was second in league scoring in 2015.
It’s hard to imagine Antulov could have found a better off-season recruit.
“I kind of lucked out on that one,” the head coach said with a laugh.
“One of the things we lacked last year, obviously, was offensive punch — we weren’t able to score a lot of goals.
“To be able to add Ryan, in conjunction with [recruit] Mitch Popadynetz, it gives us those options and will put defences under pressure.”
It’s no surprise then, that Glanville and Popadynetz were among the team leaders in scoring during the WolfPack’s 5-1-2 pre-season — Glanville led the team with six markers and Popadynetz netted a pair.
But, the addition of the dynamic duo appears to be opening up space for those around them — after scoring just five goals in 12 matches last season, the WolfPack notched 17 goals in this year’s eight-match pre-season.
Oriol Torres, the Pack’s perennial leader in goals before entering the CIS, struggled to score last season, but had four goals in exhibition play. Defender Corey Wallis added three goals of his own.
Antulov expected the trickle-down effect — he said Popadynetz and Glanville are the type of players who can create something out of nothing.
Glanville will be expected to continue to lead the club into the regular season, the figurative straw that stirs the drink of the WolfPack offence.
“A lot of these attacking pieces were there but bringing me in is a way to make sure these guys have the opportunities to score and generate offence, just playing off me and me being able to provide some strength and size up front,” Glanville said.
“If there are chances there, I can definitely finish. I’ve been able to score goals in all the leagues I’ve been in. I definitely can help out in that department.
“But, I think the bigger thing is that I’m able to get some of these key pieces involved that will be part of the attack — Oriol Torres, Mitch. Those two guys could be very deadly with the right players around them.”
There’s the potential for Glanville to play three seasons with the WolfPack, though he joked he might need a hip replacement should he still be taking the pitch with the Pack at 34.
Regardless of how many seasons he dons the WolfPack’s black and orange though, Glanville wants to be a major piece of the WolfPack for the foreseeable future — not just in tenure, but in the soccer culture at TRU.
“You see a lot of the Kamloops guys that were part of the PCSL when we made it all the way to the final of the PCSL championship — it’s something where some of these guys are getting a taste of it [winning] and they like it,” he said.
“Hopefully, we can build off that and make some noise this season.”