The University of Northern British Columbia Men’s soccer team has added a towering presence to the roster, officially announcing the commitment of Demian Dron for the 2019-2020 Canada West season. A native of Prince George, Dron says today’s news is the culmination of longtime dream.
“A few years back, I came to a UNBC game and saw the community support. I thought it was a great playing environment and started to think maybe I could play on this team. I started understanding U SPORTS when I was about 14 or 15 years old. I have been training to improve my conditioning and strength, because I really want to be a part of this program.”
Standing six-foot-five, Dron is an imposing figure on the pitch. He covers a lot of ground, makes contact early, and has a strong understanding of time and space, making him a potentially game-changing defender. He has played under Timberwolves assistant coach Rob Lewis as a youth player, and mentions his experience all over the pitch as a true asset.
“I have been playing everywhere throughout the years. I was mainly playing centre midfield under Rob with PGYSA, so I have a mind for that. Recently, I started playing centreback in the Men’s league in town, and it has grown onto me.”
The TWolves saw fifth-year centrebacks Gordon Hall and Conrad Rowlands graduate this season, so adding Dron to a stable of hungry young defenders is a great benefit to the program moving forward. The PGYSA product points to Hall, a three-time Canada West all-star, as an ideal player to model his own game around.
“I am hoping to earn that starting position. I have to step it up. I have been watching Gordon play, and I really like the way he plays. I am hoping to base my style of play on his, and see where that takes me.”
Timberwolves coach Steve Simonson has had his eye on the 17-year-old for a number of years, and suggests his newest athlete has the potential to make a major impact on the UNBC program over his five years.
“Demian is a quality young player. He is extremely versatile, in terms of positions he can play, due to his size and technical ability. I think the future is very bright for Demian within our program, and I look forward to seeing him grow and develop into a significant player for us.”
Dron has been able to train alongside his future teammates, and points to the physicality of the Northern Sport Centre sessions as a major difference from the youth game. But with his frame and willingness to engage, it’s a change he is ready and willing to learn from.
“It’s really great. I like the intensity. They are really rough and really fast. So many quick plays, and you have to be on your game, and you can’t ever be sleeping out there. It’s a big jump, because a lot of the guys are big and strong as you can probably see. You just have to stay on top of your game.”
The Duchess Park product is set to graduate in June, and will pursue a Business degree at UNBC. When asked for a scouting report, Dron emphasized how Simonson’s approach to the game fit his own work rate and skillset.
“My size helps a lot. I have good endurance and agility, and I am really strong and hard to knock off the ball. I have good feet for a centreback, and I have good field vision, so that helps with playing through balls, and transitioning out into an attacking play.”
Dron will officially join his teammates for training camp this summer. The opportunity to play for a program he has witnessed grow into a perennial playoff contender, in his own hometown, was too much to pass up.
“It means a lot. My parents and siblings have been really involved with my soccer, and they love coming to watch me play. I always tell my friends when we have a high school game, because there aren’t that many games in town, so when there is, it’s really great. I love it.”