Pinksen, a Deer Lake native, is in his second season with the Western entry in the provincial U14 male soccer setup. He saw his share of duty as the keeper in his rookie season, but this year he’s been limited to a half-game in the yawning cage as the team boasts the fact keeper Nathan Brake is a key cog for the provincial team who has earned his stripes.
Corner Brook minor soccer technical director Doug Sweetapple, who coaches the team, had no qualms about using Pinksen in a different role after watching the son of Junior and Lisa Pinksen play out against St. John’s last summer and liking what he saw.
“He showed a lot of promise and a lot of energy,” Sweetapple said of Pinksen’s keen ability to take on a new role.
“That never-say-die attitude,” Sweetapple added in his assessment of his player.
Pinksen, 13 years old and bound for Grade 9 at Xavier Junior High in the fall, doesn’t matter what role he plays as long as he’s having fun and helping the team so he’s fine with whatever the coach decides.
Soccer is his favourite summer past-time because it provides a good level of fitness and a high level of competition playing with and against the best players in the province in his age group.
“I feel like I’m contributing more to the team playing out,” Pinksen said. “It takes awhile to adjust to it, but after awhile I got the hang of it.”
How far Pinksen has taken his game in such a short time has really caught the attention of Sweetapple. He’s one of the team’s starting fullbacks who the coach feels has improved every day he puts a touch on the ball.
Sweetapple considers him a very dependable player who wears his heart on his sleeve.
“The improvement in one year is amazing,” he said.
Pinksen and company will tangle with Burin Peninsula Soccer Association in a two-game set this weekend — 7 p.m. tonight and Sunday 11 a.m. — at Wellington Street Sports Complex.