Lower Harmony resident looking for national title in Mount Pearl with Halifax City
TRURO – Competing against the country’s best never gets old for Charlie Hunter.
Lower Harmony’s Charlie Hunter is off to Mount Pearl, Nfld., today to battle for a national under-18 soccer championship with Halifax City. It will be the 18-year-old’s third time competing for a Canadian title with the club. Submitted photo
The 18-year-old Lower Harmony resident leaves today for his third crack at a national soccer title in Mount Pearl, Nfld.
“It’s always exciting to go,” the right fullback said. “Every year is different, there’s always different teams and it’s always exciting to see who you’re going to play and how you’re going to do.”
Hunter will be making the trip to the six-day tournament – Oct. 9 to 14 – as captain of the Halifax City under-18 squad, which he guided to a provincial title back in August with a 2-1 win over Halifax Dunbrack to book a spot in Mount Pearl.
City opens its bid Thursday with an 11:30 a.m. match against Alberta.
“We’re definitely looking to medal,” Hunter said. “And I think it’s definitely a reachable goal.”
City is placed in Group A with provincial champions from Manitoba, Quebec, Alberta and Newfoundland. Group B consists of Ontario, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, P.E.I., and New Brunswick.
The top team from each group plays off Monday for gold, while second-place finishers meet for bronze. The rest of the teams play for placing.
The team is basically the same squad which finished ninth in the nation last year in Cape Breton. But Hunter, who also competed at nationals in 2011 with City’s Under-16s, is optimistic his team will do much better this time around.
“We really want to redeem ourselves and I think we can,” he said. “We’re all a year older now and have another year of experience.”
Hunter will be heavily relied upon to help his team reach its goal. He’s done it without fail this season and Halifax City head coach Ken Wharton said he doesn’t see that changing anytime soon.
“He’s had a great season and we’re lucky to have a guy like Charlie. He’s a great kid,” Wharton said. “He’s a good leader and he’s been a really good captain for us.”
Wharton said Hunter has been an ideal player on the back end because of his versatility. Despite being a defender, Hunter can jump up into the attack, but also knows when it’s best to stay back and protect his own end.
“He can do both and he can do them well,” Wharton said. “Usually, guys are strong at one or the other, but he’s excellent both ways and I don’t even need to think about him out there.”
Hunter, though, is simply hoping to play a solid game and help his team to a national title.
“I just want to play my best, play hard and hope to bring back a medal,” he said.
On Twitter: @tdnmatt
Following is a schedule of Nova Scotia’s matches at the Canadian under-18 soccer championship Oct. 8 to 14 in Mount Pearl, Nfld.:
Nova Scotia vs. Alberta, 11:30 a.m.
Nova Scotia vs. Manitoba, 2:30 p.m.
Nova Scotia vs. Newfoundland, 2:30 p.m.
Nova Scotia vs. Quebec, 8:30 a.m.
Placing and medal matches