Youth soccer player competes on provincial squad
For 13-year-old Airdrie soccer player Prinex Roberts, last month’s Prairie Invitational Scouting Tournament (PIST) in Calgary was an entirely new experience.
Roberts, who plays as a left and right forward, suited up for the Alberta South U14 team during the tournament from July 23 to 28, and quickly found out that things moved a lot quicker at game speed compared to the pace of league .
“A lot of the major differences were a result of how quick everyone was thinking out there,” Roberts said. “It wasn’t that the players were that much more skilled or anything like that, but they were able to think one step ahead at all times,” he added.
The quickness of how the players thought out on the pitch, was something that Roberts was prepared for ahead of time.
“They told us going into the tournament that this was going to be a higher level than what we are used to at the club level,” Roberts said. “At times, I felt like I was playing a bit of catch up compared to the players who had been there before, but I was able to get a handle of things pretty quickly.”
Roberts, who was the only player from Airdrie to take part in this year’s tournament, was held off of the score sheet in his five games, though he was able to set up his teammates on a number of occasions.
“I felt like I did a very good job in assisting my teammates on their goals, especially since this was my first time there,” Roberts said.
The PIST is a regional competition that hosts U13 and U14 players from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, and gives players the opportunity to be identified for a future role on Canada’s national teams.
As he heads into Grade 9 at Bert Church High School, Roberts is hoping to build off of his experience at last month’s tournament as he attempts to reach his long-term goals.
“I really want to build up my level of play and I want to study a lot more in school, as you can’t do anything without an education,” he said.
“I would like to combine those two things together where I would be able to play soccer and then get a real job afterwards.”