Aldergrove’s golden boy Joel Waterman has been signed to play professionally for a soccer team in the brand new Canadian Premiere League (CPL).
Waterman received the news on his 23rd birthday, on Jan. 24. Calgary’s newest team, the Cavalry FC, will start the midfielder in their upcoming season.
“Joel is our first U SPORTS draft player that we’ve signed to a professional contract,” said Tommy Wheeldon Jr., Cavalry’s head coach.
“He’s a great competitor and a versatile player that is equally comfortable playing centrally in midfield or at the back, which gives us good depth and quality in the squad.”
Waterman began playing soccer at five, inspired by both of his parents.
“I remember going and watching my mom play soccer in Aldergrove when I was little,” he said. “Her and my dad absolutely loved the sport.”
His mother Vicki, was his first soccer coach for Aldergrove Youth Soccer.
After several years excelling on the field in local teams, and even having played on his older brother’s team as a self-professed ‘late bloomer’ physically, Waterman knew he wanted to pursue the sport long-term.
“When I was 12 or 13 I started pursuing soccer as a dream and really loving it,” he said. Thereafter, he took part in Provincial and National training programs while playing for a youth team in Langley.
“I want to stay involved in the game as long as I can,” said Waterman.
Waterman was drafted by the Trinity Western University Spartans early in Grade 11, while he attended Aldergrove Community Secondary School – from which he graduated in 2014.
As a Spartan for five years on the field, Joel was appointed team captain in his final year (2018).
It was because Waterman knew how to lead himself that he was chosen for the role, sources at the school offer.
Waterman continued to play soccer on the off-season, in Premier Development League (PDL) with teams including the Kitsap Pumas, TSS Rovers, and Foothills FC who took the 2018 National Championship.
He will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Media and Communications this April. Though he’s ecstatic to play professionally and experience a new Canadian city, he wants to continue to represent Aldergrove both on and off the field.
“I coached in Aldergrove this past month with a U-14 Silver boys team,” Waterman said, beaming with pride.
“It’s special to know that something like this doesn’t happen very often in small communities—it’s very important to me to remember where I came from.”
The CPL will be the first ever professional league for soccer in Canada. Thus far, 7 teams have formed from across the country in cities including Victoria, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and Toronto.
“Guys can finally stay and play soccer for their own country,” added Waterman.
The inaugural season will begin late April.