Abbotsford – A trio of Surrey United club teammates are continuing their soccer careers together at the university level.
Right back Ryan Donald, holding midfielder David Parfett and goalkeeper Jesse March have signed with the University of the Fraser Valley men’s soccer program, and will join the Cascades in the fall. They currently play for Surrey United’s U18 side in the EA Sports BC Soccer Premier League.
UFV head coach Tom Lowndes said it’s exciting to add players who not only have a great deal of individual talent, but have a pre-existing chemistry from playing together.
“Any time you have cohesion like that, it’s special,” he said. “These guys have played together now for a few years for one of the top teams in the BCSPSL. I think that familiarity will help them transition to the university environment. They’re at a very good club with a good training environment, and they’ve got great attitudes. Those are all things we look for in prospective student-athletes.”
5’9” right back, Surrey, B.C.
Johnston Heights Secondary
Donald, who plans to study business administration at UFV, has had a much-decorated youth soccer career. Last fall, he helped the Surrey United U18s win bronze at the Canadian National Club Championships. Prior to that, he was part of teams which won the U14 BCSPL Provincial Cup and the U16 League Cup, and finished as U17 Provincial Cup runners-up.
Lowndes rates him as the top right back in the province.
“We’re thrilled to add an athlete of Ryan’s calibre,” Lowndes said. “He’s pretty much the modern-day fullback – he gets up and down the pitch, and he attacks as well as he defends. He’s the captain of the Surrey U18 team, so he’s a leader and he’s very vocal. I think that’ll stand him in good stead when he joins us.”
“I chose UFV because I get the opportunity to strive both academically and as part of the men’s soccer program,” Donald said. “I look to further improve as a player, helping the team to a nationals berth.”
5’8” midfielder, Abbotsford, B.C.
Abbotsford Senior Secondary
Parfett’s youth soccer resumé includes playing for the B.C. provincial team at the U14 and U15 levels.
“David’s a very technical midfielder,” Lowndes said. “He’s a left-footer with very good passing ability, and likes to get box-to-box. He likes to start the play and keep things ticking for his team. I think his work rate and his ability will help him make the step up. I’m excited to see him on the team next year.”
“I chose UFV because it’s close to home and it will give me the best opportunity to grow as a player,” said Parfett, who plans to study kinesiology at UFV. “I’d like to make a positive impact on the team and become a better player.”
6’2” goalkeeper, Abbotsford, B.C.
Abbotsford Senior Secondary
March, a former B.C. provincial team keeper, will join his Abby Senior classmate Parfett in the kinesiology program at UFV.
“Jesse’s a big, strong, tall goalkeeper,” Lowndes said. “He’s a very good shot-stopper and a very good distributor. I’ve watched him for a couple years now, and he’s matured into a really solid goalkeeper. I’m excited for him to come in and push our other goalkeepers for a starting position.”
“I chose UFV because I am very interested in the kinesiology program, and it’s close to home,” March said. “My goal and dream would be to use my time with the Cascades as a stepping stone to a professional soccer career, and to earn my degree in kinesiology.”