Bjorn Borren is happy to join the Clan — the Simon Fraser University men’s soccer team.
Borren, a product of Pinnacles FC and the Thompson Okanagan Football Club, is the first signing by SFU for next fall.
“It’s kind of the final step I guess,” said Borren. “It’s really nice that after all this training and all this youth and the fun playing I’m making the big step to university soccer, which is really exciting. Get some money for school while getting an education.”
Borren helped lead TOFC to a B.C. Soccer Premier League title in November and played last summer in the Pacific Coast Soccer League (PCSL) with the Penticton Pinnacles.
The Clan, which plays in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II, announced Borren’s signing along with three other players earlier this month and described Borren as a “dynamic attacker.” Borren originally committed to the Clan in early 2015.
On their website, the Clan said Borren is “widely considered one of the most skillful midfielders in the province, the five-foot-eight, Penticton Secondary senior should provide an offensive spark from the moment he steps onto campus.”
“He is everything you want in a soccer player — one of the best engines I’ve seen in a youth player,” said Clan coach Clint Schneider. “Technically very good, he has great habits and he can score goals. He is also very versatile and can play a variety of positions.”
Borren feels joining the Clan is a good fit because of coach Schneider, whom he really likes and called him a “players coach.” Borren had been in contact with Schneider for a while because of the PCSL and Schneider had scouted former Pinnacle James Fraser, who played with the Clan. It was while scouting Fraser that Schneider discovered Borren.
Like his coach, Borren believes he can make an impact on the field. A lot of that has to do with his time with the Pinnacles in the PCSL.
“That league is made up of a lot of university players,” said Borren. “I have really done well in that league. I’m pretty confident that my skills will fit in with the level of NCAA Div 2.”
Borren credits his parents for helping him reach his goal, especially driving him when he played for TOFC in Kelowna. He also credited the coaches he has had. Joining TOFC helped his development because as he got older, players his age were dropping out of Pinnacles FC for other sports or other things.
“TOFC gave me the chance to play with high level players from all over the Okanagan,” he said. “I really wanted to keep training at a really intense pace with guys that are older.”