Former Nelson resident Mitchell Popadynetz will be wearing the colours of national champion UBC this upcoming season in Vancouver.

Former Nelson resident Mitchell Popadynetz will be wearing the colours of national champion UBC this upcoming season in Vancouver.

Former Nelson Youth Soccer midfielder signs with UBC

Former Nelson Youth Soccer standout Mitchell Popadynetz will take his skills to the University of British Columbia this coming season

Former Nelson Youth Soccer standout Mitchell Popadynetz will take his skills to the University of British Columbia this coming season and become part of the squad that attempts to defend its national championship.

The UBC Thunderbirds announced its six-player recruiting class last week and men’s soccer coach Mike Mosher feels his rookie crew will help build on the program that went undefeated in Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) last season and ended with the 2012 national title.

“We’re really excited about the players coming into our program,” said Mosher. “It’s not an easy team or program to come into and make so we’ve been pretty selective.”

Popadynetz grew up in Nelson and attended Hume Elementary, Trafalgar Middle School and L.V. Rogers. The 5’10” midfielder left the community in Grade 10 to pursue soccer at a higher level in Maple Ridge.

Popadynetz won the Golden Boot (five goals) and was named to the All-Tournament Team at the 2011 Y-League North American finals in Brandon, Florida.

“I’m excited to go to one of the best schools in the country in UBC and join Canada’s best university soccer team,” said Popadynetz.

Popadynetz will join fellow rookies Adriano Clemente (Burnaby), Niall Cousens (Vancouver), Andrew Grange (Surrey), Luigi Polisi (Coquitlam) and Otis Sandhu (Surrey) starting later this month when the team gathers for training camp.

This week Popadynetz is in Sherbrooke, Quebec representing Team BC at the Canada Summer Games. The men’s draw opened Monday and wraps on Saturday with the gold medal match

UBC will begin the 2013 Canada West regular season on September 6 with a road game at Victoria. The team’s first home match will take place two days later on David Sidoo Field at Thunderbird Stadium against Fraser Valley.