April 14, 2014, VICTORIA (ISN) – Victoria Highlanders FC are excited to welcome fullback Ryan Ashlee (Victoria, B.C.) for the upcoming Premier Development League season.
Ashlee made immense strides during the 2013 PDL season with Victoria, emerging as one of the most consistent and reliable players for head coach Steve Simonson.
The 2013 AUS Second Team All-Star recently completed his third year of eligibility with St. Francis Xavier University’s X-Men, starting in all 14 games during the 2013-14 season. Ashlee’s no. 4-ranked X-Men would see their season end in an AUS quarter-final match against recent Highlander signee Ian Greedy and the Cape Breton Capers.
During the 2013 PDL season, Ashlee and Highlanders captain Tyler Hughes were the only Victoria players to play every minute of the season on the road to a Western Conference championship title.
“Ryan was one of the biggest and most positive surprises for us last year,” said Simonson. “To be honest I didn’t know what kind of playing role he would have, and if I remember correctly he didn’t come off the park at all. He was steady and he grew in terms of how he played because we asked for things that were maybe a little outside of his comfort zone. I’m hoping and expecting that will remain this year and that he will be a big part of our back four.”
The six-foot-four defender bolsters the Highlanders back line that now features the likes of Hughes as well as Canada West First Team All-Star Andrew Ravenhill.
“I had an incredible experience with the team last year reaching the final four in the PDL and I’m coming back to help contribute to winning the league this year,” remarked Ashlee. “Last season benefited me greatly. The experience of starting and playing in big games in front of people has calmed my nerves and prepared me for another huge season with the Highlanders.”
Ashlee and the Highlanders kick off their season, May 4 against Whitecaps FC U-23. For the latest updates on Vancouver Island’s premier soccer club, please visit www.victoriahighlandersfc.com