Simon Colyn takes a break from signing participation certificates, looks around at the 12 and under kids honing their skills at the Vancouver Whitecaps Youth Soccer Skills Camp at Marshall Field, and smiles.
For it was just mere years ago Colyn himself was one of those kids in the camp T-shirt, practising skills and listening to Vancouver Whitecaps guest coaches.
Colyn, 16, recently signed by the parent Whitecaps’ Major League Soccer club, spent a morning helping out and signing autographs at Marshall Field.
“I went to a couple of Whitecaps camps in the Lower Mainland and still have photos from them,” said Colyn, a centre midfielder born in Langley, who began playing at age four. “Many of the players that were guests don’t play for the club anymore. One that still does is (midfielder) Russell Teibert.
“I was in the same spot as these kids just a few years. I have a lot of memories.”
After beginning his career with Langley United, Colyn moved to Surrey United SC in the EA sports B.C. Soccer Premier League before joining the Whitecaps FC Residence program in August 2016.
He made his Canadian youth program debut in 2017 at the U15 identification camp.
“I currently practice with first team, the team that plays in MLS,” said Colyn. “Right now, I’m working my way up. I don’t roster for the games because they only take 18 players and we have more than that. So I’m just practising and I’m hoping to work my way on to the 18-man roster.”
A former regular as a fan at Whitecaps games, Colyn is entering Grade 11. He does his schooling online.