Eighteen-year-old Justin Hansen is travelling to play in the soccer hotbed of Holland.
In May, the centre-back flew to Europe to try out for v.v. OJC Rosmalen’s under-19 division three club, where he was later selected for the team.
“It’s very well structured, high intensity soccer and very physical,” Hansen said. “It’s smart soccer. They’re a lot more passionate and it’s really enjoyable to play.”
Of the overall experience, Hansen said it’s a great opportunity — one that was influenced by the Vancouver-based European Football School, who he travelled with in March to Holland, Germany and Belgium for games.
“The soccer is amazing, and the overall experience of living in Europe — it’s a good experience to develop on my own, as well as a soccer player,” he said.
European Football School coach Amar Talic, who was in Williams Lake with several other coaches hosting a soccer camp during the past week, said Hansen was scouted during the EFS tour through Europe in March.
“It’s a great opportunity for anybody from this region,” Talic said. “It’s an example of how these kids aren’t closed in here. There are opportunities out there for kids in the Cariboo region and, throughout the years, Justin has shown great dedication.”
Talic noted Hansen has worked hard throughout his youth soccer career.
“He deserves it,” Talic said.
“We’re proud of him at EFS representing Canada and Williams Lake.”
Hansen, meanwhile, said he’s grateful to be able to play in Europe.
“I’m super thankful for the opportunity the EFS has presented me, and I’m thankful for EFS and Rosmalen to develop as a person and soccer player,” he said.
Hansen leaves for Europe at the beginning of August, and will begin training with the club around the middle of the month, with cup games beginning at the end of August.