Each week during the Pacific Coast Soccer League season in the Capital News, freelance reporter Drew Pihlainen profiles a member of the 2012 Okanagan Challenge.
The final installment features Dylan Abbott, as the Challenge prepare to compete in this weekend’s Kennedy Cup in Bellingham.
Position: Central defender or midfielder
Hometown: Salmon Arm
University team: UBCO
Q: How long have you been playing?
A: All my life, since I was two or three, kicking the ball in the backyard.
Q: How did you get into the game?
A: My dad was a soccer player, so he got me going when I was young.
Q: What’s your favourite thing about soccer?
A: The competitive nature of it.
Q: What pulled you to UBCO?
A: It was both a school and a sport decision. But probably the soccer for the most part, so I could play university soccer, because that’s my passion.
Q: How long have you been with the challenge?
A: This is my second year.
Q: What do you learn from having a losing season like this one as opposed to last year’s playoff-winning season?
A: You don’t take things for granted. When you have a tough season like this you learn that it’s not always about winning—it’s about improving, as well. You can’t expect to always win games—you can hope for it, but it’s going to be up-and-down throughout your career. Sometimes, you’re going to have an off season.
Q: I see there are some stitches above your eye—what’s the story there?
A: I was playing in a game—I headed the ball by a defender and he got there late, conked my head.
Q: Have you had any other injuries playing soccer?
A: Just little injuries here and there –though I pulled my hip flexor and was out for a year when I was fourteen.
Q: What’s your favourite thing about playing for with the Challenge?
A: I love being with the team for the trips, and the competitive soccer: just keeping the game going during the summer, too, so you don’t skip a beat.
Q: Anything else you’d like to say?
A: That we’re going to take the tournament down in Bellingham.
Q: How confident are you that you guys are going to win, on a scale of one to 10 ?