The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack men’s soccer program has taken another step forward in its development. Head coach John Antulov has made the unprecedented move of committing to a grade 11 student
Antulov and the WolfPack are pleased to announce that Hardeep “Harry” Khaira ( Ka-hair-ra) of Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary in Surrey, BC will join the program in 2017-18.
The 6’1” Khaira is completing his grade 11 year this June.
“We are very pleased to have Harry join our program,” says Antulov. “Although still a year away from joining our program, I felt Harry had all the tools that I was looking for as a quality CIS level centre back. I normally don’t sign players a year earlier but felt he had the ability now to contribute at this level. That is how highly I think of him as a player.”
Khaira plays for Fraser Valley Football club in the BCPSL and will be taking courses aimed towards getting a Bachelor of Business Administration at Thompson Rivers. “I really like the campus,” he said after visiting Kamloops and TRU in May. “It’s very new and Hillside Stadium was very impressive. The WolfPack’s soccer program is also one on the rise and I am looking forward to being part of its growth.”
He adds: “After meeting with coach Antulov and Athletics and Recreation Director Ken Olynyk, I knew that this was the right choice for me and my parents wanted me to go to a university a little bit far from home.”
His coach with Fraser Valley is former SFU Clan player Jordan Rosenlund. “Harry is a big, strong, tall player with all of the technical ability that a coach would want. Athletically, he is at the top of the charts and his soccer ability for a player at his age level is unparalleled. He is good in the air and a great passer.”
“My strengths as a player would be communicating with others on the field, working my hardest no matter what, and enjoying myself on the field,” Khaira stated when asked to evaluate himself.
Rosenlund added: “He is a great teammate and does a great job of separating fun and work. He has all the tools to be an all-star in Canada West by his fourth or fifth season. Right now, he just has to adjust from being the best player on the field to simply being a player in the CIS. But I am so excited for him to make this jump. He has worked hard and deserves it.”
The WolfPack are very involved in the Kamloops community something Khaira looks forward to being a part of. He is already volunteering in Surrey coaching seven year olds. “What I say to the young players is that they should work hard in what they love, don’t give up and they can achieve their goal.”
“Harry has no problem giving back,” said Rosenlund. “He does it without being prompted. That is the type of character person he is.”
Looking forward to having him in his line up in 2017, Antulov is already foreseeing great things for the team and for Khaira. “Playing alongside players like Finlay McPhie (Vernon, BC) and Adam Swanson (North Vancouver, BC), Harry will give us the makings of a fantastic back four. We look forward to Harry continuing to work on his game this coming season and making our program even better.”