Sports

Okanagan Challenge spotlight

Okanagan Challenge captain Dustin Luck - Drew Pihlainen/Contributor
Okanagan Challenge captain Dustin Luck
— image credit: Drew Pihlainen/Contributor

The Okanagan Challenge will kick off the Pacific Coast Soccer League season this weekend with two games on the Lower Mainland. The Challenge will take on Khalsa Sporting Club on Saturday, then will meet Bellingham United on Sunday in Coquitlam.

Each week during the PCSL season in the Capital News, freelance reporter Drew Pihlainen will profile a member of the 2012 Challenge.

Today, team captain Dustin Luck.

Position: Defense (Centre-back)

Hometown: Kelowna

University team: UBCO (Captain)

Age: 21

Q: Why did you choose soccer to get into?

A: When I was younger I played a lot of other sports as well. I had basketball and baseball but always just got drawn back to soccer. I loved it. And it really is the beautiful game, so it's my favourite sport to play by far.

Q: What has been a highlight of your career so far?

A: I think as far as the team aspect goes, last year when we won this league (PCSL). It was awesome. The playoffs were in Penticton: it was just great, especially with the group of guys we had.

Q: Do you have aspirations to play soccer professionally? Ever done any professional trials?

A: It's always in the back of my mind. I've never actually had try-outs or anything. I've thought about even just when I'm done my university career, trying out for a team like the Whitecaps in MLS would be awesome.

Q: Do you have a hero in the soccer world?

A: Well, I'm a bit of a Liverpool fan so Steven Gerrard of course. But as far as centre-backs go, I'm a big fan of Piqué and Puyol for Barça (FC Barcelona).

Q: How would you compare the beginning of this season to last season: what do you think is different this year?

A: Well, Dante (Zanatta) of course, the new coach. But, it always starts off a little slow just waiting for guys to get back from universities. Colin (Okanagan Challenge goalkeeper) actually just got back from Calgary. So, usually the first couple games it takes a little getting used to each other. But this team's a lot younger this year than it has been the last few years.

Q: Any pre-game rituals or superstitions?

A: Only one I'd say is I tape up my right sock every time before I tape up my left. Besides that I usually don't put my shinpads on before the actual game starts-- I like warming up without them on. I don't wear the same socks every game or anything like that.

Q: What do you do when you're not playing soccer?

A: Right now I'm doing a co-op at a chartered accounting firm actually. Tax season just ended, so I'm kinda relieved. I'm doing that and then we'll see with that whether I stay in accounting or move on to something else.

Q: Anything you'd like to tell the people of Kelowna?

A: Like I said, it might be a bit of a slow start this season, but we have another good chance to win it this year. It's gonna be competitive: I like the team. Once we get the chemistry going, I think we'll be good. I'm looking forward to the season.

 

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