Whitecaps prospect Naomi Perkins makes a name for herself

Nelson's Naomi Perkins put on a star performance for the Whitecaps' Kootenay academy at a recent tournament

Naomi Perkins is one of the stars of the Whitecaps' Kootenay academy.

Naomi Perkins wanted to make an impression. Six goals later, Perkins may be the only player anyone remembers.

Perkins, a Vancouver Whitecaps prospect at the Kootenay academy, travelled with three teams to Seattle for the AstroTurf Collegiate Showcase in November. Scouts from 21 schools were present for the tournament, and Perkins was hoping to show off what she could do.

What she did electrified everyone in attendance. Perkins scored six goals in four games for the Whitecaps’ under-17 squad, including a hat trick in one game.

The 17-year-old Nelson native is hoping to get a scholarship, but before the tournament began she was trying not to think about the scouts in the stands.

“I keep it in the back of my mind to play hard because there’s people watching me, but if I make a mistake I try not to carry that through the rest of the game,” said Perkins.

Perkins, who attends Grade 12 at L.V. Rogers, started playing soccer when she was three years old and has trained with the Whitecaps since she was 14. The striker describes herself as aggressive on the pitch. “I like to take people one-on-one,” she said.

Her performance delighted Whitecaps Kootenay regional head coach Brett Adams.

“Naomi, she’s a special player. (She’s) one that we’ve been working with for three years now and we’ve always had high expectations for her,” said Adams. “It’s not always gone the way that Naomi would want in some of these tournaments because … we were playing really amazing teams or we just weren’t putting the performance together.

“But because the team played so well (in Seattle), it gave Naomi that opportunity to expose how good she is as a player. … I would imagine she probably caught the eye of scouts while she was there.”

It was the second year the Whitecaps visited the tournament, but the first that the teams, which also included U-15 and U-16 squads, managed to win at. Adams said the trip gave players and coaches important matches against skilled teams, as well as gave them a bar to measure their own development against.

“It was obviously very, very pleasing to go down to the States to face some stiff competition, some really, really good competition and be able to come away with some great performances,” said Adams. “Absolutely proud of the players and their ability to go down (and) just do what we’ve been doing in training.”

Perkins, meanwhile, isn’t sure if she’ll make soccer a career – right now all she wants to do is get recruited – but the game is important to her. She cites Canada’s Christine Sinclair, American Alex Morgan and Brazil’s Marta as her favourite players and was in the stands for the Women’s World Cup final last summer in Vancouver.

What happens after high school is in the air, but soccer will still play a part in Perkins’ life.

“I’m really competitive. It’s a nice outlet I guess,” she said. “I like the team sport aspect. It’s always been a part of my life.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATE: Body of Slocan River drowning victim recovered

The man was swimming near Winlaw on Wednesday.

Nelson’s SMRT1 Technologies to provide vending tech to Vancouver company

UpMeals will launch 22 machines across Canada using SMRT1’s personalized machines

July Kootenay real estate sales at record high

Sales and prices of Kootenay real estate on the rise

Kaslo council says it was overlooked in long-term care announcement

“We’re fed up … They have ignored every attempt we’ve made to contact them”

Kaslo 2.0: Effort to take the village’s local government online advances

The first step if approved would be setting up a Kaslo Health Hub

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

Most Read