Sean Young On Chasing Titles At Pacific FC
Last year saw Pacific FC end the year fourth place in the Canadian Premier League. 2022 brought some CONCACAF experience before falling to Atletico Ottawa in the semi-finals of the playoffs.
Plans were put into full swing immediately as they look to get back to the championship form they showed in 2021 when the defeated Forge FC.
As the roster moves take place, one player who has committed to the club is Sean Young. Speaking to Sean, he was always keen to continue with the club after his contract expired in 2022.
“I think my performances were good enough I thought to earn a new contract. I didn’t know for definite if I’d be able to re-sign till the end of the season but when talks started, I was really happy to be able to sign a new one with the club”.
The 21-year-old midfielder will enter his fourth season with the club and third as a big part of the first team. Young has increased his minutes season-on-season and will hope to do so again in 2023. This increase in time on the pitch has helped with his confidence to contribute and develop under manager James Merriman.
“My goal going into each season is to keep making a bigger impact on the team and I think I’ve been able to that. Personally, I think I’ve made big steps in my development each year since 2020.”
He has certainly showed that he has been capable in doing just that in his short career to date. Contributing well to a championship-winning season in 2021 and then adding more first-team game time in 2022.
His manager, Merriman, has said he wants to push Sean more to become an even bigger part of the team this year. Being a box-to-box midfielder, he has shown a strong ability to break up play and has a lot of energy to get around the pitch with the freedom Merriman’s system offers his midfielders.
With just two goals to his name so far though, the final third is an area he is keen to show improvements in in 2023.
“If I’m adding goals, assists as much as creating more chances while also protecting the defence, that is the goal. We want to dictate the game in the midfield here.”
Pacific have set their expectations from the off as a team that will compete for titles each season. That is the goal going in and the players are well-aware of this and the work which they put in during the off-season and throughout the year is working towards this.
Sean is a local player who has come through the local youth sides in Victoria and didn’t even have the option of a professional league in Canada until he had reached 17 years of age It quickly became a reality and one which he was able to jump at. This was a challenge as it is for most young players who haven’t played academy football with a professional club in their youth.
“It was a big adjustment at the beginning. Everything is faster, the standards and quality are much higher, so it took some adjustment. I also started training with the team during COVID, at the beginning, so there were a lot of small group sessions which was good to get used to players and the coaching staff. Coming through this way is a bigger step than I think most people realize it is”.
This step up into the league and for youth development across Canada is vital in bridging the links and creating even more pathways for young players to go on and have successful careers. It continues to develop, and we have seen the likes of Joel Waterman making the Canadian Men’s National Team at the Qatar World Cup 2022, and players like Lukas Naughton are plying their trade as well at Toronto FC in MLS highlighting the importance of the creation of the CPL.
“When the league was announced, I was like, yeah that’s where I want to be. Before it was so much more difficult with just the three MLS clubs across Canada. A lot of players need that step that the CPL provides now and that’s amazing for young players and a great steppingstone for Canadian players.
While FC Edmonton have left the league, Vancouver FC has become the latest expansion side adding the chance for a new, exciting rivalry to grab fans attention.
“I hope all the fans can come over on the ferry when we go and play Vancouver, I think it will be cool and I’m really excited. The closest teams before were in Alberta, but now having this local rival will be great for both sets of fans as well as the league. That first game in Vancouver should be a great one”.
Rivalries help build the league and create the culture and atmosphere in the league. Having this added to the fixture list will be one which will be able to also grab neutrals interest as well. The games will hopefully live up to the anticipation and will have the added bonus of former Pacific FC goalkeeper Callum Irving being Vancouver FC’s first signing as a club.
With two full seasons under his belt and experience in the CONCACAF League, Sean is showing the pathway is there for young players in Canada to gain valuable experiences which could benefit them if they get the chance to move to bigger leagues abroad.
“When we played in Jamaica it was a cool experience but there were hardly any fans. In Costa Rica it a great atmosphere and there’s a new buzz before a game which was exciting and felt great to represent the team and the league in an international competition.”
These performances, and future ones from teams around Canada in international competitions, are vital for the league’s development. For Sean the progress has been rapid, from being a young player in a local academy to seeing a new league be created, signing in it, and then playing in CONCACAF competitions all in the space of a four years.
He’s part of a side that are very much integrated with the community which will continue to grow. This is often helped when a side is successful and this year their goal again is to win titles. New additions are being finalized and returning players confirmed too, and all will be eagerly anticipating the fixture release. Players and fans alike will be circling the date on the calendar for that first Vancouver FC game in 2023.