Allen comfortable with role as Western Under-16s’ leader

Jamie Bennett
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BMO Western player Ethan Allen, seen here during Thursday’s team practice at George ‘Daddy’ Dawe Memorial Pitch, will be counted on to lead the way this weekend against Mount Pearl. — Star photo by Jamie Bennett

Ethan Allen is basically the same as any soft-spoken 16-year old — until he steps onto the soccer pitch, that is.

Allen is in his second season with BMO Western of the provincial Under-16 boys soccer league.

A centreback, Allen said he considers himself a team leader who isn’t afraid to speak his mind when required.

But chatting with the polite Level 2 student at Corner Brook Regional High School, it’s difficult to imagine the competitive fire that burns in him. But he insists it’s there.

“I am on the field anyway,” Allen said with a laugh when asked if he was the vocal sort. “I try to encourage the other guys and keep talking to them, trying to get their head’s up.”

The squad enters at two-game home series this weekend on the heels of a home sweep against Portugal Cove-St. Phillips and are currently in third in league standings with a 4-2 record. Western’s opponent for the weekend is Mount Pearl, a team Allen insists has plenty of talent despite a disappointing 2-3 start to the season.

“They have a really strong team with some quick guys up front,” he said. “So it’s going to be a challenge for us this weekend.”

Equally challenging will be the absence of six or seven regulars, something which will force the team to call upon several members of the Western Under-14 team.

Allen knows he will be counted on to be a stabilizing force with so many young players in uniform but like a true leader, he said with any challenge comes opportunity.

“We’re going to find out if some of our players who don’t get much time are able to step up and take control,” he said. “Come final four, we could have injuries or anything so we’re going to need everybody contributing.”

With this in mind, he said the process, not results, will be the most important thing in the two-game set as teams continue to round into form.

“It’s not necessarily about winning the games this weekend,” he said. “It’s like our coach tells us: winning is not a goal, it’s a result — but playing well is always a goal.”

The teams are set to clash 7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. Sunday at the Wellington Street Sports Complex.

Organizations: Ethan Allen, Corner Brook Regional High School

Geographic location: Western Under, Portugal Cove, Mount Pearl Wellington Street

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