TWU Spartans sign FC Edmonton-trained fullback

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by Mark Janzen

April 2, 2014, LANGLEY, British Columbia (ISN) – The two-time defending CIS champion Trinity Western women’s soccer team took a major step in bolstering its back line for years to come as Spartans coach Graham Roxburgh officially announced the signing of fullback Amy Gartke (Spruce Grove, Alta.) Wednesday.

The 5-foot-1 defender will graduate from Edmonton Christian High School in 2014 and comes to TWU with the chance to make an immediate impact on the pitch. Having been selected to train at FC Edmonton’s Regional Performance Centre, Gartke has already proven herself to be amongst the best young players in Alberta and is a defensive piece who will instantly improve an already strong Spartans back line.

“Amy is a dynamic young player and person who I believe will have the opportunity to make a great impact on our team right away,” Roxburgh said. “Ever since I met her and then watched her train and compete, I got excited about the various things she will bring to our program. She is full of character and determination and I believe will push some of the older players for playing time.

“I love the fact that she can get up and down the field, has speed and tenacity and has the ability to attack from an outside back position. She has an enthusiasm and hunger to get better that I am really impressed with and I believe will be a great culture carrier in the years ahead. And I am delighted she has been part of the regional training centre in Edmonton, as I believe being there will help prepare her properly for the competitive nature of the CIS.”

Along with training under the tutelage of FC Edmonton, Gartke also plays with the Edmonton Drillers Youth Soccer Club. She also competed with Alberta’s provincial team from U13 to U16 and in 2013 helped Alberta to a bronze medal at the national championship.

“I have heard a lot of great things about TWU and when I came for a campus visit, I loved it,” said Gartke, who plans to study education. “There is a great community at TWU and it’s a place I want to be for the next number of years. There is also a great soccer program here with excellent coaching that will help me become a better player. The education program here is also very strong, which is another reason why I picked TWU.”

Gartke is the sixth announced recruit in Roxburgh’s 2014 class, which includes goalie Rachel Sydor (Tsawwassen, B.C.), defender/midfielder Kathleen Chin (Calgary) and strikers Seina Kashima (Burnaby, B.C.), Danae Derksen (Delta) and Casandra Silveri (Delta).