Tanner Inder is relishing another chance at competitive soccer.
The 16-year-old from Springdale has played on provincial Under-15 and Under-16 teams and is set to play his final two regular season games with BMO Western of the provincial Under-16 boys soccer league this weekend.
After some time away from the pitch, the striker said the team spirit on the club is something he’s enjoyed above all else this summer.
“All the boys have been treating me like gold ... they’re best kind,” Inder said. “We’re all friends and it’s a good laugh. We play tough and strong.”
As part of a talented group of strikers, Inder was modest when asked to assess what he’s brought to the team. He said he tries to bring more “mental toughness” and speed to the team.
These attributes will come in handy this weekend as the fourth-place team (9-6-1) clash with the so-called ‘B’ team from St. John’s (5-7-3) in a two-game set at the Wellington Street sports complex.
Inder and company have already clinched a spot in the league playoffs but he said his teammates will need to be at their best despite facing the lesser of two capital city clubs.
“You can never take a team from St. John’s lightly because they are always strong competitors,” he said. “I don’t expect us to push them over, but if we play hard like usual I think we should come out with a win.”
After losing 4-0 to Mount Pearl at home last Saturday, Western salvaged a silver lining from the two-game series with a 2-2 draw Sunday morning.
Inder said a win or two this weekend should do wonders for the team’s confidence as the post-season looms.
The son of Rosa Tassoni and Calvin Inder and student at Indian River High in Springdale said his club plays a much more aggressive, up-tempo style than most other teams in the league.
While this spirit has served Western well in most instances, Inder insists the team still needs to learn when to push and when to stay patient.
He said there’s no better time than this weekend against St. John’s if the team hopes to strike the proper balance in time for the playoffs.
Inder said the team now has to play “smart soccer” and wait for its opportunities in order to win.
“We’re always trying to push, push, push and sometimes we don’t take the time to wait and settle down.”
Western and St. John’s are set to hit the field 7 p.m. today at Wellington before wrapping up the regular season 11 a.m. Sunday on the Wellington pitch.