Soccer coach Tom Lowndes knows the quality he has in five Surrey United players who will join him at the University of Fraser Valley next season.
He also coaches the Abbotsford-based Cascades, to add the talents of Ebi Igali, Dante Colebourne, Milad Jalo, Aidan Fitzgerald, and Nathan Cervo starting next fall.
All have played under Lowndes at United in recent seasons, some for five years.
“Not only are we bringing in excellent players, but we are bringing in quality young men as well,” Lowndes said. “They have a hunger and desire to be the best they can be, and they will compliment and push our current group of players here at UFV.”
Lowndes is confident that the chemistry they’ve shown on United will continue with the Cascades as they transition into what the coach considers to be the toughest soccer conference in the country, Canada West.
“I am delighted with the quality this group will add to our program and expect this to be one of the top recruiting classes in USPORTS this year,” Lowndes noted.
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The United five are in their Grade 12 years at different schools in the region including Earl Marriott Secondary (defender Ebi Igali), Guildford Park (midfielder Milad Jalo), Grandview Heights (defender Aidan Fitzgerald), Abbotsford’s W.J. Mouat (striker Nathan Cervo) and Chilliwack’s GW Graham (midfielder Dante Colebourne).
“Surrey United is a top club that produces top-quality players,” Lowndes noted. “We’re excited when we can get quality kids to play post-secondary from United because we know it’s such a solid and well respected club.”
Lowndes said Guildford Park’s Jalo is expected to battle for minutes in his first season at UFV. “He has spent time with the Whitecaps Residency program and bounced back from multiple knee injuries to become one of the top 2006-born midfielders in Western Canada.”
Igali has athletic parents in father Daniel, who won Olympic gold for Canada in wrestling, and mother who competed in weightlifting in Nigeria.
He scored nine goals from centreback last year with United after moving from a Coastal club.
“To secure a player of Ebi’s quality is a major coup for UFV soccer,” Lowndes said. “He is an athletic, tough tackling quality defender, who is also a big threat on attacking set pieces. He has a great work ethic and constantly pushes his teammates to be better every day.”
“I have been impressed with his progression in the short time I have worked with him at Surrey United, and we are ecstatic that he has chosen to be a vital part of the Cascades family for the next five years and beyond.”