The University of Northern British Columbia’s Men’s soccer team continues to bolster its roster, officially announcing the commitment of Victoria native Jake Dziwenka for the 2019-2020 Canada West season.
“It feels really good. I have definitely been working towards this for a very long time. It has been a huge goal of mine. I went out to all the camps for the last three years, working on getting to this level, and it feels great.”
A product of the Vancouver Island Wave system, Dziwenka visited a number of schools before narrowing his choice to UNBC. He says his longtime relationship with TWolves coach Steve Simonson, as well as a familiarity with the UNBC roster were major factors in his ultimate decision.
“I went to some other schools, and I didn’t feel comfortable there. I didn’t feel myself there, and I didn’t feel as wanted. This felt like a good fit. I knew a lot of players, and I have known Steve (Simonson) since I was in youth soccer, so that all led up to this.”
Standing six-foot-one, Dziwenka spent time with the BC Soccer High Performance Program, but expects the jump to the top level in Canadian University sport to be a substantial one. He has been training with his new teammates, and looks more comfortable every time on the pitch.
“It’s a lot faster paced. Lots of little touches, and the skill level of the players is much higher. Work ethic is important, and you have to keep your skill level up, just as high as everyone else.”
A smooth athlete with the ball at his feet, Dziwenka possesses the positional versatility that will translate well to Canada West. He is capable of playing centreback or holding midfielder, and hopes his willingness to move around the pitch plays a factor in his impact.
“I am hoping to connect the team and spray balls out. Assist goals, score some goals, hopefully, but I am more of a defensive player. So, keeping the ball out of the net, and helping to get the ball forward.”
Simonson has seen his newest recruit’s progression, and cites the 18-year-old’s physical and mental game as assets for the Timberwolves for years to come.
“Jake is a quality young player with experience in the men’s league in Victoria. That experience, as will his adaptability between centre midfield and centreback should help him transition well into U SPORTS. I have experience working with Jake in the past, and I know he has to tools to become a big of our program.”
An honour roll student at Claremont Secondary, he will enroll in business studies at UNBC. The Timberwolves are on the road for preseason, and begin the Canada West schedule August 23rd at UBC Okanagan.
“I am really excited for the season to start, and for the preseason trip to Victoria, to go back home. Even the first day we got here, I started smiling halfway through a training session. I am just so happy to be back in a team environment, playing again.”