For the second year running Oak Bay’s Liam Stanley has won the Canadian Para Soccer Player of the Year Award.
Stanley, 17, is in his fourth year with the program and was honoured by the Canada Para Soccer coaching staff.
“We had a number of players who arguably could have been awarded this honour but Liam’s dedication sets him apart,” said head coach Drew Ferguson. “He is doing 100 per cent of the things he needs to do to improve and that’s what makes him player of the year.”
Throughout 2014, Stanley continuously showed his quality at training camps, competitions and, above all, in his off-field work. At the America Cup, his defensive abilities were instrumental in helping Canada secure a fourth-place finish and a berth in next year’s CP-ISRA World Championships.
Ferguson said Stanley’s ability to handle big game pressure is another reason why he was selected.
“His understanding of the game is continuously growing, and even against more experienced opponents, he’s able to read the game and get the tackles in that win back the ball to help transition into the attack.”
These attributes will serve the team well in 2015, where it will not only compete in the CP-ISRA World Championships (July 13-28) but also in the Para Pan Am Games (Aug. 7-15).
Canada’s Para Soccer Team consists of players with cerebral palsy as well as those recovering from a stroke or head injury with similar symptoms. The team plays seven-a-side soccer, as managed by the Cerebral Palsy International Sport and Recreation Association.