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Quesnel soccer players compete in California tournament

Hayden Booth and Jaren Wheeler played for European Football School team
The European Football School of North Vancouver sent two teams to a tournament in Orange County, California. Two players from Quesnel on the team were Hayden Booth, fourth player from the left back row and Jaren Wheeler mid row second from the left. (Photo submitted)

When European Football School head coach Saibo Talic talks about two Quesnel soccer players, the praise flows freely.

Recently Hayden Booth, 13, and Jaren Wheeler, 14, played on U15 and U16 teams Talic took to play in Orange County, California.

The team won three games, tied three games and he credited both boys for their help in those wins.

“Hayden is mostly a centre player,” he told the Quesnel Observer. “He played on both the U15 and the U16. He is a physically strong and tall boy and has very good speed.”

When Talic needed Hayden to be the striker, he was, getting five goals for the team.

“He was one of our best players,” Talic said.

Talic described Jaren as a “very intelligent” soccer player.

“He scored two goals. I love his soccer mind.”

Hayden and Jaren have attended camps put on by Talic in the Cariboo.

“Hayden said playing in California it was a higher calibre and more physical than they were used to,” said his dad Jordan Booth. “But, he absolutely loved it.”

Jaren loved it as well and had a great time.

“I’m so glad EFS invited me on this trip and gave me this amazing opportunity. Our team played really well against some tough teams and went undefeated,” Jaren said.

He went on to say he wanted to thank everyone who made it possible.

Jaren and Hayden started playing soccer when they were four years of age.

Both boys play for the Quesnel Youth Soccer Association and the Cariboo Youth Soccer Association, made up of players from Quesnel, Williams Lake, 100 Mile House and Lillooet.

While in California, they enjoyed workouts on the beach in between games and a visit to Knott’s Berry Farm, a 57-acre theme park in Buena Park.

Talic said there were also four players from Salmon Arm and two from Kamloops on the team.

For 25 years, he has been running the European Football School. He travels to different communities putting on winter, summer and spring break camps.

“We have had 14,000 players through our programs,” he said.

His son Amar is a clinical director for the school and is the technical development manager North Shore Girl’s Soccer Club.

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Jaren Wheeler goes for the ball during a tournament in Orange County, California. (Photo submitted)
Hayden Booth on the field in Orange County, California playing for a team from the European Football School of North Vancouver. (Photo submitted)

Monica Lamb-Yorski

About the Author: Monica Lamb-Yorski

A B.C. gal, I was born in Alert Bay, raised in Nelson, graduated from the University of Winnipeg, and wrote my first-ever article for the Prince Rupert Daily News.
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