Wyatt Gilbert, a 6-foot-2 winger from Langley’s Brookswood Secondary, has signed on with the UBC Okanagan Heat for the 2016 Canada West men’s soccer season.
Gilbert, who plays in the B.C. Soccer Premier League with the Surrey U17s, is ready to make an offensive contribution with his first university team.
“I expect to play an attacking role at UBCO whether it be striker, attacking mid, or the wings. I have been playing on the wing since U13,” Gilbert said.
Gilbert’s Brookswood team won the Fraser Valley’s tournament and made the provincial tournament his year, though Wyatt was unable to participate as he had suffered a broken foot.
Through his play with Surrey United, Wyatt has had an opportunity to play in the national tournament, which should be a big advantage in terms of dealing with the much higher level of competition that he’ll be facing once he becomes a member of the Heat.
Gilbert says that he chose UBC Okanagan’s soccer program in part because of Heat head coach Dante Zanatta. “He’s my style of coach,” says Wyatt, “he knows when to push his guys, and understands how to get the best out of what he’s got.”
Zanatta’s is pleased with the addition of Gilbert, a player he feels can be a successful attacking player for UBC Okanagan in the future after charting his development for the past three years.
“Each year he has improved his game, as an attacking player, a position that we need to get better at, I believe that he has the tools to have a very good CIS player.”
Breaking down his recruit, Zanatta explains that “Wyatt has good speed, comfortable on the ball, a nose for the net and has the determination to be better each time he steps on the pitch which is crucial for a players development and we hope to help him on his journey.”