Out of 200 soccer players selected from Canada to try out for the Danone Nations Cup, three were from Calgary

Preteens nowadays can be preoccupied with the latest gadgets and technology, spending most of their time indoors. But three young Calgarians have a different hobby filling their days.

Carter Fuerst, Dale Rease-Do and Mainssi Kamden are soccer players.

The 12-year-olds are very passionate about their sport and are off to a great start in their soccer careers. They even tried out to represent Canada in the Danone Nations Cup, the world’s largest soccer tournament with 32 countries involved for kids ages 10 to 12.

Each spring 5,000 Canadian players try out with hopes of making the Team Canada squad.

Carter Fuerst played goalie for Team Canada West, he likes the action a goalie gets and blocking lots of shots.

Photo Courtesy of Danone Canada 

Two hundred of these players were selected to attend training camps across Canada to see who would make the final team.

Carter Furerst, Dale Rease-Do and Mainssi Kamden found themselves at the Alberta Selection Camp in Spruce Grove as three of the 200 chosen to form part of the Canada West team that would play Canada East at the national final in Montréal on June 27.

The winning team would then go on to play in the Danone Nations Cup held in Marrakech, Morocco, in October.

Fuerst began playing soccer at the age of six. As a goalie, he noted there is always lots of pressure on him to succeed. He likes that there is lots of action in front of the net and he has fun blocking shots.

The training that he received in Montréal was an awesome experience, “we got to act like pros walking onto the field,” said Fuerst. He also got to touch an Olympic gold medal, which really motivated him through his hard practices and early mornings.

Reas-Do started playing soccer at the age of five. With his positions as attacking midfielder and right wing, his responsibilities are getting back as fast as he can to his team’s zone and defending the net.

“I have to push myself even though I am tired, to help the team win,” Rease-Do said.

Coach of both the East and West Teams, Dean Howie said he was really proud of the boys. “They went through two training sessions a day for four days, to get them used to playing together and gain some tactical awareness as a unit.”

Dale Rease-Do gained a lot of experience from his time training in Montreal on Team Canada West. 

Photo Couresty of Danone CanadaSince the Danone National Cup is an international tournament, the boys had to learn European rules.

“They represented their province, their club, themselves and the sport really good. They really showed that soccer is a growing sport in Canada, and the level of the game and players are getting high and higher each year,” said Howie.

Fuerst looks up to professional players like Manuel Neuer, a goalie for Bayern Munich Germany, and forward Lionel Messi for Barcelona.

“The exposure that they have to the game is amazing,” said Howie. “The British Premier League was never on television every Saturday morning and there wasn’t the ability to watch games on the Internet and Edmonton didn’t have a professional team.”

The boys’ Canada West team played against Canada East in Montréal and came up short, losing 4-0.

Even though Fuerst and Rease-Do will not be representing Calgary in Morocco, the boys expect go far in the game.

Fuerst will be playing indoor soccer in the winter, and hopes to eventually make it up to the premier levels.

Reas-Do is proud the he was able to play at such a high level and is positive about the loss to Team East.

“Because we lost, I just told myself that it would just make me a better player and person,” he said.

mwalsh@cjournal.ca