2018Feb 6

Time For a Transition


I’ve been in Sudbury nearly three years now, and there are two things I still have yet to see.

One of those things is the Big Nickel.

And I’ll get there, eventually.

But first, there’s something else I want to see. That I need to see.

And that’s Laurentian winning a home playoff game en route to the OUA Finals.

I’ve had a lot of transitioning in my lifetime, and I’m ready to help transition Laurentian from the bottom of the table to the top. It’s time to bring that Pride and Tradition back to the soccer pitch at LU.



I was born in Albania but moved to Michigan at the age of 3. It didn’t1 take too long after that for me to fall in love with the game. My parents put me in soccer at the age of 4, playing for the local YMCA and house league teams. At that level, I always stood out and quickly made the jump to a more competitive caliber of soccer. However, when I turned 11 my parents decided we were going back to Albania and I spent the next two years in the motherland.

However, at the age of 13 my parents decided we were off to Canada. It was another transition to a new country and once again I was off looking for somewhere to play soccer. The fundamentals of the game truly stayed the same throughout all countries but I always had to ensure that I tailored my game to the way the team, coach, or country etc. is playing. For example, as I mentioned in Albania they liked to play hard and physical but once I came to Canada I needed to calm down a bit, I was causing too many fouls and I didn’t want to hurt my team. I played the next 5 years at a high level in Toronto and competing for my Highschool Northern.



When it came time in grade 12 to choose what University I wanted to at3tend, I decided to go to Carleton and join their soccer club. It was another transition and this time to a very strict program. I only scored one goal that season and guess who it was against? None other than the Laurentian Voyageurs .. on their home field. Little did I know at that point that I’d be there the following year putting on the gold and blue uniform. Yup, another move. But this time to join the Voyageurs and I haven’t look back since.

Due to OUA rules, I wasn’t eligible to play my first year at Laurentian. Taking a year off really had its toll on me. This was the first time in my life where I had to sit out every single game of the season and observe from the stands. It didn’t help my development as a player because I was only eligible to practice and didn’t get any game action. However, it motivated me for the upcoming year and made me work harder individually. Especially watching the team suffer and end the season with a 4-9-3 record failing to qualify for the playoffs. My second year at Laurentian, I was determined to help the team and play at the quality that I knew we were capable of playing at. We finished with a 6-8-2 record which once again wasn’t the greatest but at least we were back in playoffs.



This past season I feel was truly a turning point in our program. It was the first time we had a winning record (8-7-1) since 2013 and the first time we beat U of T since 2005. We suffered a heart breaking extra time loss in the first round of playoffs at the hands of UOIT. The results of the game could have easily gone either way and if we would have won that game we would have been ready to turn a lot of heads the rest of the playoffs. But this has left me hungrier than ever leading up to my last season of eligibility as a Voyageur.




It’s time to complete that transition from the bottom of the table to the top.

It’s time for the Pride and Tradition to return to the pitch.

And then – after I see us win a home playoff game and head to the OUA Finals –  I know what I’m going to see next.

Plus, I hear the Big Nickel is the largest coin in the world.


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