March 5, 2024
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Pacific FC Eric Lajeunesse

Pacific Draft Pick Eric Lajeunesse Set For Thunderbirds Return

By on August 17, 2023 0 1115 Views

Pacific FC draft pick Eric Lajeunesse has now wrapped up his time at Starlight Stadium, returning to the University of British Columbia at the conclusion of his U SPORTS contract.

The 20 year-old defender had made seven appearances (and five starts) for Pacific through all competitions, fitting in seamlessly in a professional environment. He helped the team earn three wins, two draws, and two losses, with none of his starts resulting in losses. The Whitecaps Academy product also helped the side collect two clean sheets.

Pacific FC Eric Lajeunesse Max Ferrari
Photo Credit: John Jacques

His involvement saw Lajeunesse help the club tally some 455 domestic U-21 minutes, which is 30% of the 1,561 that the club has accrued this season. It’s also triple what the next-most-utilized U SPORTS athlete has contributed in the league this season.

The Ottawa-born youngster also made four appearances for Pacific’s League1 BC affiliate side, Nautsa’mawt FC, through the downwards player movement pilot project.

“It’s not easy adapting to the daily demands as a U SPORTS player,” reflected Pacific head coach James Merriman, who had selected him in the first round of the 2023 CPL-U SPORTS Draft, “but Eric has been an excellent addition to our group. He came in extremely humble, ready to learn every day, and has had a very good first season at PFC. We wish him and UBC the very best in their fall season.”

Having earned 22 starts for the Thunderbirds last year, Lajeunesse is expected to the a critical component to their defensive line. Now having spent the bulk of a Canadian Premier League season with Pacific FC, the six-foot-two defender will be banking on his own high level experience to help the Thunderbirds lock in a championship.

York United Max Ferrari Eric Lajeunesse
Photo Credit: John Jacques

This marks the only transfer update that top-of-the-table Pacific FC have made midseason, showcasing just how smoothly James Merriman’s setup has proven to be on the Isle.

Canadian Premier League clubs needed to part ways with their U SPORTS selections by August 15 if those student-athletes were to remain eligible for their university teams this season, so there’s been a flurry of announcements of late: while the likes of Aiden Rushenas, Trivine Esprit, Sterling Kerr, and Tyr Walker have opted to remain with their sides until the season’s end, players like Eric Lajeunesse and Jordan Tisseur have opted to return to their university football teams.

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