Justin Hansen

Justin Hansen

YOUTH EXCELLENCE: Justin Hansen

Eighteen-year-old Justin Hansen was so young he can’t even remember when he first touched a soccer ball.

Eighteen-year-old Justin Hansen was so young he can’t even remember when he first touched a soccer ball.

“I believe it was around three or four [years old],” said Justin who, after years of honing his skills in the sport, has now taken his talents to the soccer hotbed of Holland after being selected to play for the under-19 v.v. OJC Rosmalen’s division three club.

“My plans for this year are to continue to develop and take in as much as I can from the Dutch style of play.”

Justin said he realized he had a passion for soccer at a young age when he discovered the ability to beat players off the dribble and score goals.

Also growing up playing rep hockey with the Williams Lake Minor Hockey Association, Justin said he places a strong value on education.

“I’ve always had an eye on returning to North America to pursue a university degree, as well as continue playing for a varsity squad,” he said. “But I’m really enjoying the lifestyle here.

“I’m playing for a well-managed club, which makes things easier. I was fortunate to have spent a month and a half in Europe prior to moving here through the European Football School tours, which made it quite easy.”

Of his favourite memories to date in the sport, Justin points back to winning the year-end Revelstoke tournament in his under-18 season with his dad as coach.

“It was always the wrap up tournament of every year and being U18 it meant that youth soccer was finished for me, so it was a perfect ending for many years of playing for Williams Lake and my dad being my coach,” he said.

“[Also] being selected to the U18 High Potential Prospects team by the Vancouver Whitecaps and only being 16 is an accomplishment that really inspired me to pursue soccer as far as I can.”

He credits the Vancouver-based European Football School and its head coaches Saibo Talic and his son, Amar Talic, for presenting him many opportunities in the sport.

“I’ve played against first-, second- and third-division teams all over Europe including the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Switzerland and Austria.”

His favourite players are Manchester United’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane.

And just like the freedom he’s been granted to travel abroad with the sport, Hansen said it’s also the freedom he likes most about the game.

“You can love so many different parts about the sport such as scoring or dribbling, but my favourite would be how I can be an individual within a team,” he said.

“I know that you need 11 players to be successful and I love contributing to that 11.”

Just Posted

Doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine are seen being prepared on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Decatur, Ga. Hundreds of children, ages 12 to 15, received the Pfizer vaccine at the DeKalb Pediatric Center, just days after it was approved for use within their age group. (AP Photo/Ron Harris)
One death, 60 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The death is connected to the outbreak at Spring Valley long-term care in Kelowna

(File photo)
Firearms investigation on Winger Road the result of increased gang activity: RCMP

When police attempted to stop a vehicle, it sped away

Shearwater is located in the Great Bear Rainforest on the West Coast of B.C. (Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association photo)
Heiltsuk Nation buys historic Shearwater Resort and Marina

Chief Marilyn Slett said Heiltsuk Nation has always valued its relationship with the company

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking on a remote forest road in Naramata on May 10. (Submitted)
Kamloops brothers identified as pair found dead near Penticton

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking

Municipal governments around B.C. have emergency authority to conduct meetings online, use mail voting and spend reserve funds on operation expenses. (Penticton Western News)
Online council meetings, mail-in voting option to be extended in B.C.

Proposed law makes municipal COVID-19 exceptions permanent

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
British Columbians aged 20+ can book for vaccine Saturday, those 18+ on Sunday

‘We are also actively working to to incorporate the ages 12 to 17 into our immunization program’

The AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine. (AP/Eranga Jayawardena)
2nd person in B.C. diagnosed with rare blood clotting after AstraZeneca vaccine

The man, in his 40s, is currently receiving care at a hospital in the Fraser Health region

Brian Peach rescues ducklings from a storm drain in Smithers May 12. (Lauren L’Orsa video screen shot)
VIDEO: Smithers neighbours rescue ducklings from storm drain

Momma and babies made it safely back to the creek that runs behind Turner Way

Signage for ICBC, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, is shown in Victoria, B.C., on February 6, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
$150 refunds issued to eligible customers following ICBC’s switch to ‘enhanced care’

Savings amassed from the insurance policy change will lead to one-time rebates for close to 4 million customers

Police investigate a fatal 2011 shooting in a strip mall across from Central City Shopping Centre, which was deemed a gang hit. The Mayor’s Gang Task Force zeroed in on ways to reduce gang involvement and activity. (File photo)
COVID-19 could be a cause in public nature of B.C. gang violence: expert

Martin Bouchard says the pandemic has changed people’s routines and they aren’t getting out of their homes often, which could play a role in the brazen nature of shootings

Most Read