Steven Ford knows he holds down a position that comes with a certain amount of pressure, but he’s pretty cool about handling the heat when a championship is up for grabs.
Ford, a 15-year-old Corner Brook native, is the steady keeper for the first-place Western Wolves of the provincial 15U male soccer league that is poised to win the provincial championship on home turf.
The Wolves will be gunning for gold in Tier 2, while the 15U Tier 1 provincial crown will also be decided this weekend with Corner Brook putting out the welcome mat for both divisions.
“Of course there’s a bit of pressure that comes with it, but I know I have a strong team in front of me and if they do their part and I do mine I think we’ll have success this weekend,” Ford said earlier this week.
Ford is expected to make the big save when needed.
He’s expected to direct traffic when the opposition is on the attack.
It’s no big deal to him. He just focuses on being ready at all times and has a lot of confidence in the guys who help him defend the cage.
He likes how the players have meshed together as one cohesive unit as the season progressed and was impressed with the quality of soccer his team played as they cruised to first place in the standings.
“Everyone knew what they had to do and every time they went out on the field they gave it their all and it worked out for us,” he said.
For the most part, teams from the west coast usually have to travel to the other side of the province for final weekend tournaments at the provincial level, but this time around the Wolves will have the familiarity of Wellington on their side.
“It feels good because we’re playing on our own field,” he said. “We’ll get more people out watching and cheering us on.”
At home is great because players can sleep in their own beds and don’t have to worry about fatigue from travelling, but Ford has respect for the other teams and knows they will want to knock off the first-place team so he figures they will be battle ready.
Burin is the one squad that Ford believes will be a tough test for his squad. The two teams played some entertaining games during the regular season with the Wolves winning the head-to-head series three games to two.
“We have a close eye on them, but if we play our game no team should give us any trouble,” he said.
The Wolves will tangle with Paradise today 5 p.m. in its first game. A win will send the Wolves packing for a berth in the championship final on Sunday, while a loss will mean playing for bronze on Saturday afternoon at Wellington.