The Canadian Premier League held its U Sports draft late last week, and a couple of Ontario Tech men’s soccer players were among the 16 names announced.
Despite being drafted, both players know they still have a lot of work to do to make the team.
“It’s one of the highs in my life and it’s a moment I’ll never forget,” said Christopher Campoli, drafted 4th overall by York United FC.
Campoli has been kicking around the soccer ball since he was four years old. The Ontario Tech Ridgeback was the first player in school history selected in the CPL U Sports draft.
“You dream about this, obviously. As a kid growing up playing soccer, the end goal is always to play professional soccer, so when I was sitting on my couch watching that draft with all my family and your name gets called, it’s really just a special feeling,” said Campoli.
Campoli won’t be the only Ridgeback looking to make a name for himself with York United FC. Danial Rafisamii was also selected by the club, 13th overall.
“The whole day I was just nervous — couldn’t eat, I just couldn’t do anything. I was just sitting on my couch, thinking, ‘Is today the day? Is today the day?” said Rafisamii.
Both players weren’t able to showcase their skills on the pitch this year as the pandemic cancelled the season. But both Campoli and Rafisamii stood out the year before and are looking forward to playing at the next level.
“I like to score goals, I like to beat players off the dribble, and I always look for the most threatening option on attack,” said Campoli.
“I can hit a good long ball, I have good passing range, always working for the team,” said Rafisamii.
Ridgebacks coach Ramin Mohammadi has been around these guys for the past couple of years.
He says it’s great for the program and they’re paving the way for other Ontario Tech players.
“They have to continue to stay humble, work hard, stay committed. It’s a professional environment. You work hard, show yourself, (and) if you don’t somebody else (will) take your spot,” said Mohammadi.
Now the CPL is going into its third season. While a schedule hasn’t been released, both Campoli and Mohammadi continue to train for this next step.
If all goes well, they could return to Ontario Tech next season with some pro experience under their belts.