MSOC: Barrafranca makes French connection, joins Timberwolves

August 6, 2018

The 2018-2019 edition of the University of Northern British Columbia’s Men’s soccer team will have a European flair, as the Timberwolves officially announce the commitment of French winger Pierre Barrafranca for the upcoming Canada West season.

Barrafranca is a native of Larmor-Plage in France, a distance of approximately 7,300 kilometres. He joined the Timberwolves for preseason training camp this week, and said it was a conversation with coach Steve Simonson that was crucial in his decision.

“When I started talking to Steve, he was interested in my profile. We talked on the phone, and the feeling was very good. We talked about soccer, and I really liked his way of looking at the game. After the call, I decided to come here.”

The 20-year-old is entering his third year of university soccer eligibility, after spending a pair of seasons in the United States. His first season was with ASA College in Miami, Florida, and last year Barrafranca suited up for Richland College in Dallas, Texas. Coming off a season that saw him score three goals and add three assists, he says his time in America helped him on and off the pitch.

“When I arrived, my English was terrible. So I improved that, but I also learned a totally new way to play soccer. It is different, how they play here, how they play in the United States, and how they play in Europe. In America, athleticism is more important. In France, the tactics are more important.”

One look at Barrafranca on the pitch, and it is easy to identify his speed and relentlessness as tremendous assets in his arsenal. Simonson says his new winger’s attitude and willingness to compete has helped him fit in right away with the TWolves.

“We are hoping to improve the attacking element of our game, and we expect Pierre to play a part in that. He is dynamic, and confident, and he loves the game. That love for soccer is why he is already proving to be a great fit with our team and environment.”

Playing half a world away from your home can be a challenge, but Barrafranca says once the ball is on the field, he and his teammates all speak a common language. The training climate created by Simonson has impressed the new addition.

“They are very good guys who play very good soccer. There is chemistry between all the players and that is very important. Everyone is one group, and they all try to push up the other players to the best level, and the best they can do.”

Set to study Business while at UNBC, his first impression of the UNBC facility was one of awe.

“The campus is very beautiful. I was impressed by the architecture. Canadian people are very welcoming. My arrival here has been very good.”

Barrafranca and the Timberwolves will open the Canada West season at home, August 24th at Masich Place Stadium against the Univeristy of Victoria Vikes. The French speedster is looking to make an impression on UNBC fans from day one.

“They can expect to see me dribbling, getting assists, and scoring a lot of goals, I hope. Helping make this the best team, helping the team win, and going as far as possible towards a championship.”