When Oak Bay’s Jake Robson takes the field as a member of the U15 B.C. Summer Games team representing Vancouver Island, he hopes to bring his extensive experience in the game to the field and help his team come away from the tournament with a win for the region.
“I’ve been playing since before I can even remember, and I truly love this game,” said Robson.
According to his mother, May Robson, Jake has indeed been playing the game since he was only four years of age and, in the many years since, has never lost his enthusiasm for soccer.
“Last year he and his Island Fire team went to Sweden to participate in the Gothia Cup tournament and did very well. They came away with a third place finish which, considering the level of competition, was just phenomenal.”
Jake credits that tournament experience for making him and his teammates much stronger players; a fact that can only help them in the upcoming Summer Games.
“Going to Europe really opened our eyes to the level of play that is out there and inspired us. We lost our first game but that was a wake-up call for us to up our game and we went on to win seven straight which got us to the semi-finals,” explained Robson.
Robson recalled the incredible level of ball control displayed by some of the European teams.
“There was this Portuguese team there and, watching them, you could tell they trained every day… that they were getting 3,000 touches on the ball every day, and that it showed.”
Given the success of Robson’s team in Sweden, their coach, Sergio Duran, urged some of the players to try out for the Summer Games team. Several did and, when the tryouts were done, three had qualified for the team.
“I was a little worried because they had two tryouts for the team and, because of other commitments, I couldn’t make the first tryout. When I arrived for the second one the coaches pretty much knew all the other players already so I really had to give it everything I had to make the team,” said Robson.
Robson will be joined by teammates, Mattheus Achadinha and Javier Duran when they take the field in Cowichan this Friday (July 20).
“This is a little different in that, while we’ve been practicing twice a week with the Summer Games team, these are players who we don’t generally play with, so there is a bit of adjustment,” said Robson.
“Still, I’m very confident that we’re going to do really well. I think that we’ve got a very strong team and the Island Fire players are hoping to really help make it even stronger.”
When the Summer Games are over, Robson and his Island Fire team are headed for more exciting experiences.
In 2019 they will be headed to Manchester, England and Cardiff, Wales for the Super Cup tournament. That’s the UK’s biggest international youth football tournament, played, in part, in what is arguably the heart of football in England, Manchester.
“Soccer is a great game and it’s a real honour to help represent the Island at the B.C. Summer Games,” said Robson.