Cameron Ardiel has been on the Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School (PSO) soccer team for four years now and has been the captain for two of those seasons.
“You couldn’t ask for a better role model. For being only in Grade 12, he manages to maintain an elite academic standard and is a high performer in the school band program, as well as a soccer player and leadership, have continued to evolve,” said his coach at PSO, Sean Glanville.
Ardiel started playing soccer as a four-year-old after his parents put him in the program and he grew a taste for it.
“I just kind of love it,” he said. “I think every kid has to do some sort of sport when they grow up and I guess I chose soccer and I’ve grown up with it and progressed.”
His position of choice is as a holding midfielder, which he primarily plays at with his club team, the Williams Lake Storm, whom he has been playing with for three years now.
A holding midfielder typically hangs back closer to the defence than a typical central midfielder and typically is making long passes forward to attacking players.
A second type of holding midfielder plays a more defensive game, making tackles, regaining possession and getting the ball to the type of player mentioned above.
At PSO though, he plays as a central defender.
“Cameron can play all positions, but I prefer to leave him as a central defender. His speed and ability to read the play and sense the danger [is what] makes him invaluable as our last line of defence,” said Glanville.
If Ardiel had to choose a professional player to liken his play to, it would be Kendall Watson of the Vancouver Whitecaps. As a midfielder, he likened himself to Belgium international and Chelsea player, Eden Hazard.
He said most defining moment as a soccer player was with his club team.
“Playing the provincials a couple of times with my Williams Lake team and making the provincials is kind of a long haul,” he said, adding that they have never actually been close to winning it. “Not very close, like pretty close to last but the teams we beat out were better than us but we just stuck to our strategy and won somehow.”
He also mentioned some of the big upsets the PSO team pulled off in the past few years that “were really fun to be part of.”
In the summer of 2017, Ardiel and his clubmates at the Williams Lake Storm departed for Europe to take part in camps in Germany, Netherlands, Belgium and England.
“It was crazy. The atmosphere in Europe is totally different there. Their clubs are built on history,” he said. “They have a different style – more passing and not more speed and they work up the ball slowly.”
Ardiel wants to be a doctor when he is older but would like to stick with club soccer as well as play in university. Glanville has been trying to get him to try out for the University of Northern British Columbia’s team in Prince George, which Ardiel is considering.
“Cameron is considering soccer at the university level and I have no doubt he could crack the roster on almost any team; his frame is still a bit slight to play against strong university players but he will fill out,” said Glanville.