Geraldine Brophy/The Western Star
Brianna Chaulk got a good sense of how tough competitive soccer can get on the provincial scene when she played a few years in Paradise.
She kicked the ball around against some of the top teams on the east coast during that brief stint before her parents Adam and Deanne Chaulk pulled up stakes for Massey Drive a couple years ago.
It was a level of soccer she wanted to participate in to help her become a better player, but it wasn’t an option in Corner Brook when she arrived.
That’s all changed and she’s ready to embrace a new challenge.
The Corner Brook Minor Soccer Association decided to enter a team in the provincial Under-14 female soccer league this summer after a five-year hiatus.
The 14-year-old Grade 8 student at Corner Brook Intermediate is one of the budding female soccer players suiting up for Western in the provincial Under-14 female soccer league this summer.
“I think it’s good for players over here to get the experience of what it feels like,” said Chaulk, an active teenager who excels in a number of disciplines on the local sports scene including competitive swimming with the Corner Brook Rapids.
Coach Robert (Rocky) Mitrovic said Chaulk is a strong player who brings passion, leadership and an impressive work ethic to the pitch every day.
He expects her to lead by example at both practice and games, while trying to encourage and support some of the new faces in the mix who haven’t played much high calibre soccer.
“I’m expecting her to explode this year in the provincial league,” coach Mitrovic said of the player he expects to fill the shadow striker role with the team. “I expect good things for us and I expect she will be one of the best players for us this year.”
Chaulk doesn’t feel any pressure with the leadership role given to her. She figures she’s adapted to it pretty well, at least a lot better than when it was first a topic of discussion when was weary of taking on the challenge.
She hopes all hands get a fair shake and improve with every game. She knows there will be anxious moments as the girls try to find their way around the pitch, but having fun is half the battle.
“We’re obviously going to try to win, but that might not be the case, so I guess just try your best and have fun,” she said.
More important, she figures, is everybody reaping some reward from playing against better players in a faster environment.
“It’s always good to play against better players because you can learn from what they do and then try to improve that way,” she said.