Amidst the chaotic zigzagging ever-present on the soccer pitch, 18-year-old Ethan Perkins tends to be the calm amidst the storm.
“I have my own play style,” said Perkins. “I’m pretty laid back with it. I’m calm with the ball. I tend to make good passes and I know when to step up into play and when to drop back.”
Perkins has been developing this play style since he first started playing soccer at age 12. He said the sport has become his primary passion in life.
“It was the first I’d ever tried out for any sport, and I made it,” he said. “It was such a good experience, playing at a decently high level. We went to provincials that year, which was huge for U-12.”
Perkins was recently recruited for the University of Lethbridge’s soccer team by coach Randy Bardock, and will be playing with the Pronghorns by mid-August. Perkins said he’s thrilled by the opportunity. He’s worked with Bardock in the past, at a training camp, and respects his approach to coaching.
“I was playing against some of the seniors, and it was faster. Those guys are really good. It’ll be tough, I figure, but it will be fun,” he said.
Bardock contacted him after the camps to inquire whether he’d be interested in joining the team. After touring the campus and a having a few conversations, he sealed the deal.
“He’s leaning towards putting me on the defense,” said Perkins. “I’ve been playing mid and defense throughout my rep career, so that works well.”
Perkins said he relishes the challenge provided by sports, and he’s looking forward to proving himself once he arrives in Alberta.
“I’m pretty excited about that challenge of performing at a high level.”
Perkins said he owes a lot to the variety of coaches he’s had over the year, including his main coach Scott Lewis. He’s also worked with Brett Adams, as well as Jamie and Dave Spendlove.
“My ultimate aspiration is to play on the university team and get lots of game time, become a starter,” he said.
Meanwhile, Perkins will be pursuing a career in medicine as a radiologist.
“I was always into med school,” he said.
Perkins’ favourite player is Paolo Maldini. He said he was given a poster of the player by Soccer Quest, and later looked him up.
“I checked out his play style and and I liked it,” he said. “He’s really direct.”