The Quest University Kermodes menís soccer team hasnít tasted victory since Oct. 23, 2011, but the new man in charge hopes to change that.
And Alex Elliott isnít stopping there.
The Vancouver native was hired to lead the menís team earlier this month and said all the pieces are there for Quest to put up a lot of Ws.
ďWe want to be a winning team,Ē he said. ďAnd we want to be an exciting team to watch. Everything Iíve seen in my first few weeks is that everyone is willing to make the necessary changes. We have more than enough time to turn it around and be a team that is in a position to win games.Ē
Elliott said Quest goaltending coach Paul Pedersen contacted him when the position opened up and it seemed like the perfect fit. The two work together on the Vancouver-based Fusion FC but Elliott said heís always wanted to coach at the post-secondary level.
ďIt was just good timing and Iíve always wanted to be a collegiate coach,Ē he said. ďItís the highest level of camaraderie and commitment. At the pro level itís a little different because money is involved. Personally, I loved playing collegiate soccer, so when this job came up I jumped on it right away.Ē
Elliott has a wealth of soccer experience including his time on the U15, U17 and U20 Canadian national teams. He went on to play three years of NCAA soccer at the University of Portland before playing pro in Germany and North America. He retired from the sport in 2012 after suffering multiple concussions and has been involved in coaching at the youth level since.
He said his experience as a player helps him relate to the guys on the pitch.
ďIím a players-first coach and I want to treat my players the way I always wanted to be treated,Ē he said. ďI want them to play for me, for Quest and each other and once we achieve that, all the rest will fall in place.Ē
Elliott said that in the next six months he will work individually with every player to get the best out of them. The team is training four times a week and there is at least one exhibition game every week until April. He also said heís very high on futsal and has incorporated that training into the regular regiment.
He said he likes the look of his team and said there is a wealth of young talent like midfielder Zachary Roberts-Winter that could break out this year.
ďI know thereís a lot of talented guys but they just need a new uplift on old things,Ē he said. ďI think everyone is committed enough to go ahead and make these big changes. It should be an exciting year and a big change for the program. Every player is fully committed to make sure we have a winning team next year.Ē
For more information on Quest athletics, visit www.questkermodes.ca.