Despite plenty of individual success last season, Ryan Glanville’s primary goal is helping his Thompson Rivers University Wolf Pack men’s soccer team earn their first ever Canada West playoff berth this 2016 season.
The Williams Lake striker leads the Kamloops squad into its third season competing at the Canada West level after making the jump in 2014 from the PacWest collegiate level.
After finishing with a 2-8-2 (win-loss-tie) record in their first season, Glanville was the major recruit for the Wolf Pack entering last season.
He scored eight goals in 2015, three more than the entire Wolf Pack squad scored in their 2014 season, and finished third in all of Canada West.
He was also named the Wolf Pack’s first ever Canada West All Star for soccer. However, the Wolf Pack only saw a modest improvement in the league standings with a 3-6-3 record and failed to make the playoffs again.
“Anything short of making the playoffs this year will be considered a failure.
“We need to find a way to win close games and get our program to that next level,” said Glanville.
Only the top four schools in the seven-team Pacific Division qualify for playoffs, which includes the likes of powerhouse programs such as UBC and University of Victoria.
The 32-year-old Glanville has seen his soccer career come full circle and is back in the B.C. interior applying his trade.
After starring at Columneetza Secondary, Glanville went on to play the final two years of his undergraduate degree at UBC which included a CIS National Title in 2005. He joined the UBC team as a true walk-on which is a very rare occurrence for the winningest program in the country.
Once into his thirties, university soccer was the furthest thing from Glanville’s radar, but after his family relocated to Kamloops a couple years ago and enrolling in the school’s MBA program, he received a call from TRU coach John Antulov.
“I had eligibility, was still fit and liked where the program was going so decided to give it a shot,” said Glanville.
“I usually have at least 10 years on most of the players so there’s a bit of a novelty there.”
Glanville, now in his fourth year of eligibility, will see his alma mater UBC when the Canada West season kicks off as TRU host defending Canada West Champion Thunderbirds at Hillside Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 27.
The early start is due to an expanded Canada West schedule which sees an increase from 12 to 16 league games.
“It will definitely be a little different playing league games well before classes are even in session,” said Glanville. “Playing UVIC and UBC right off the bat will be a huge test for us, but will be good to see where we stand.”
TRU has lost five starters from last year’s squad but a number of quality recruits have joined the fray and after a solid pre-season which saw the Wolf Pack post a 3-2 record, there is plenty of room for optimism.
TRU men’s soccer is looking to gain even more momentum after the announcement that they will be hosting the 2017 Canada West Men’s National Championships next fall in Kamloops.
“It’s huge for the program to be hosting such a massive event and everyone around the team is pretty excited about the announcement.
“It should be a fun way to go out as it will be my last year of eligibility…finally” jokes Glanville.