At 28 years of age David Durrant finds himself trying to carve out a new path, thousands of miles away from home.
London, England native, came over to North America last year to play for the Trinity Lutheran College men's soccer team in Everett, Wash., but exorbitant tuition and school costs had him looking to Canada for a place to play. The Vancouver Island University Mariners men's soccer program appears to be that landing spot.
Although he does have obvious offensive skills he will be battling a few other challengers for time at striker, despite even the loss of Drissa Bouare to injury during the summer.
It's a challenge he is up for.
"It's good for the team, the more competition the better you're going to play," he said.
Durrant does have some links to Canada, he has family in Toronto, but he wasn't prepared for the distance to the Ontario capital.
"I used to think Canada was small," he said with a laugh.
But he'll get used to it. Despite his age, he plans to be a fouryear player with the Mariners. He is currently enrolled in their business and management program but is hoping to transfer into physical education. Durrant's goal is to be a coach.
At the very least, he will have one of the top mentors in the Pacific Western Athletic Association guiding him until graduation. One of the big draws for Durrant was the program's recent history of winning, making the Canadian College Athletic Association championships the last three years, winning a medal each time, including silver last year.
"I want to win trophies and everyone here is willing to compete and wants to win," said Durrant. "That's how I am, I want to win, I hate losing."
His biggest asset is his offensive ability.
Durrant gave an early glimpse of what he can do in the VIU alumni game two weeks ago, scoring two of the Mariners' five goals.
He should have an inside track on the forward position vacated by the injured Bouare, but he will be fighting with 18-year-old Nanaimo product Keegan Lang while last year's breakout star Blaze Roberts could potentially be back in the mix if he can complete a course. Lang does bring a lot of flexibility to the game and could be moved to mid-field or even the back line if needed.
"The one thing with David is his fitness, and he has been working on it with running and extra things as well, once he gets fit, he'll be a threat for sure," said Mariners head coach Bill Merriman.
This next week will provide several big opportunities for Durrant to nail down a spot as the Mariners have four games in the next several days, including tonight against the Cowichan Valley premier team in Ladysmith at 7 p.m. On Saturday they play in Victoria against the University of Victoria, on Monday they host Durrant's old team from Trinity at 6 p.m. and on Tuesday they play the Mid Isle Highlanders U-21 reserve team at 6 p.m., also in Ladysmith.
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