Committing to Simon Fraser University (SFU) was an easy decision for Vernon’s Liam Glennon. Not only does the school’s business program appeal to him, there’s also a familiar face on its men’s soccer team.
In January the Grade 12 Seaton Secondary student was announced as one of SFU’s five new student athletes who will be joining the squad for the 2020 season. That means Glennon will join his older brother Connor on the same team for the first time in years.
“I’m excited to move on,” Glennon said after the official announcement from the team he’s been committed to for a little over a year. “They practice a lot more in Vancouver, whereas in Vernon in wintertime, I practice twice a week.
“I want to play as much as I can but there’s just not as many opportunities here, so I’m really excited to go down and play a lot of soccer.”
It won’t be entirely new territory for Liam. His family moved to Coquitlam three years ago when Connor was in Grade 12 and playing for the Under-18 Whitecaps. Liam then played for Coquitlam in the BC Soccer Premier League — the same league he’s currently in with the Thompson Okanagan Football Club (TOFC).
Clint Schneider is in his sixth year as the head coach of SFU, so he’s gotten to know the Glennon family well since Connor joined the team in 2017.
“Both are very similar profiles in player: direct in the way they play, they love to be on the ball in the final third, they love to score goals, they love to take on players on the dribble,” Schneider said.
“Maybe most importantly, they also fit our team culture. They’re the type of people we want to have in our locker room.”
Both brothers came up through the TOFC program, which has produced roster players for Schneider, such as Penticton’s Born Borren and Kelowna goalkeeper Jordan Thorsen — the latter also a fresh recruit.
“We can see these guys pretty often and we don’t want them going anywhere else in Canada and certainly not in the States, and so we target the best players we can possibly find that are local in B.C.”
Though the coaching staff keeps tabs on local talent, and though there’s some familiarity with having Connor on the team, Schneider said the younger Glennon made the team strictly on his own merits.
“Liam is here on his own account; he’s not here because his brother is here… he’s here because we think he’s good enough to be here.”
As for Glennon himself, the 17-year-old is looking forward to seeing friends he made while in Coquitlam three years ago and playing with his brother after a long hiatus.
“Once we became older we didn’t play as much together,” he said, adding there are skills that make his brother a good winger to play alongside.
He’s quick; good foot skill. He’s a good all-around player and he’s got good vision.”
Glennon will be in the Lower Mainland starting August to prepare for the start of SFU Men’s season in September.