Kingston’s Adrianos Dagres will represent Canada at the 2019 Danone Nation’s Cup in Barcelona, Spain — the unofficial World Cup of soccer for boys 12 and under.
Dagres is the first player from Kingston to ever qualify for the prestigious tournament.
The talented mid-fielder was put through three grueling tryouts in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal, and was ecstatic when he got the call to say he made the national squad.
“I knew I did well in the tryouts and was really happy when I made the team”, said the likeable young man who currently plays for an under-12 club in Ottawa.
“I can’t wait to represent Canada in Barcelona. It’s a tremendous opportunity to showcase my talents against the best young players in the world.”
His former coach in Kingston, Mike Akai, says Dagres has what it takes to be a successful soccer player.
“Talent doesn’t always take you where you want to go”, says Akai, who runs the Kingston Soccer Academy. “It takes a lot more than talent. It takes determination, application and you need to listen to your coaches. Young Adrian does all that. He’s got focus, talent and persistence to be a better player.”
It may be eight years away, but Canada co-hosting the World Cup of soccer in 2026 has inspired Dagres to dream big.
“I will continue to work hard,” said the son of Tasos and Anne-Marie Dagres. “I would love to represent my country in that tournament.”
“My parents share my passion for soccer and drive me everywhere to play the game I love.”
But for now, Dagres is concentrating on the U-12 Danone Cup, in September of next year.
“I can’t wait to play in Barcelona,” says Adrianos. “That’s the home of my favourite player, Lionel Messi.”