Whitehorse Daily Star

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STELLAR SAVE – Canada Games Team goalkeeper Callum Weir makes a great save in the dying minutes of a game against the Yukon Selects July 23 at F.H. Collins in Whitehorse.

Callum Weir named to 2022 CSG soccer all-star team

Yukon’s male soccer team’s goalkeeper, Callum Weir, was named to the all-star team at the 2022 Niagara Canada Summer Games recently.

By Morris Prokop on September 12, 2022

Yukon’s male soccer team’s goalkeeper, Callum Weir, was named to the all-star team at the 2022 Niagara Canada Summer Games recently.

The Games took place in early August.

Weir began playing goal when he was around eight years old. “Jake (Hanson) was like ‘This kid’s very agile and he’s quite fast. Let’s throw him in goal and see what happens,’” recalled Weir. “I guess I did something he liked and then I fell in love with goalkeeping and it was kind of a wrap from there.”

“It’s pretty nice to get the recognition I’ve been working for,” said Weir on Tuesday. “It’s quite lovely to see that other people are able to recognize the hard work that I’ve put in – that my circle has put in – to me being able to help the team finish where we did and be one of the best teams in terms of not conceding goals.”

Weir heard about the honour about a week after the tournament.

“Jake (Hanson) sent me a text with a screenshot of – there was a news article about Quebec winning and below there was all the all-stars … that had (been) named from the tournament, so Jake Hanson sent me a text just saying ‘This is awesome, Cal, really proud of what you’ve done and (you) fully deserve it’, so that was quite meaningful to me as well.”

Weir said there were some key factors in winning the award.

“I think a big part is definitely the coaches: Sean and Jake and the team as a whole being able to put me in the best position to make key saves to keep our team in the matches … I didn’t have a whole lot to do – as to what I was expecting. That’s a big thing to my centre backs and the back line and the team as a whole so a big thanks to my coaches and my centre backs for sure. Felix (Masson) and Jason (Sealy) did incredible all tournament and it was lovely to work with them.”

Weir said the tournament was an interesting one.

“Obviously, the weather there was ridiculous. The humidity was absolutely crazy.

“It started out pretty strong. We played Nova Scotia; we won 3-nil, got a clean sheet, which was fantastic … I didn’t have much of a test in that match.”

“And then the following day we played Alberta … they’re know as one of the powerhouses in football in Canada, so it was expected to be quite a challenging game. It was a bit tough. We conceded (a goal) early on in the first few minutes but then our team showed great spirit and I was able to make a few important saves, keep the game really close and we ended up losing 2-nil, which is unfortunate, but I think on the day they were probably just the better team and we couldn’t quite put everything together but it was a good effort from the boys and I think we probably could have gotten more out of that match but it was OK.

“And after that match, it meant that we went to play B.C. and that was an interesting one ... that was a bit more eventful, I guess, similar to Alberta, but different types of saves to be made. We kept it nil-nil until the last 10 minutes, which was quite heartbreaking ... we had chances, like, could have gone either way but I guess they capitalized on their chances a little bit better. I was able to make two important one versus one saves after (the B.C. goal) to keep the game within reach but we just couldn’t get the ball in the back of the net in that match.

“Moving on to the next one, we played Manitoba and we had actually played Manitoba at a tournament before and we lost to them, so it was a big revenge mission for us … that group of boys and I have had a few encounters with that group from Manitoba at club nationals, etc., so it was kind of the last go, I guess.

“We started the game really strong, scored three goals in the first 30 minutes, I think. Big shout out to Ben Kishchuk, who I think probably should have been an all-star as well – definitely deserved it in my opinion and quite a few others – but he played incredibly well. We had a great couple goals there and again, thanks to Felix and Jason, I didn’t have much to do in that match.

“So we finished the tournament, I think it was, 7th out of twelve teams, which, looking back on it, I think we were definitely (one of the) top-five teams there. Any of the other teams, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland, I think we could have gone past … for the Yukon, I think, a historic finish but I think (we) could have done better, but that’s how it goes.”

How does if feel to be on the most successful CSG Yukon men’s soccer team ever?

“It’s quite lovely, it’s incredible, but it’s not just me, it’s a big part of the team and for me, the only reason I was there is Jake Hanson, like, ever since I was seven – my mom called in and said ‘Hey, I have a kid who really loves playing football’ and Jake said ‘Bring him in and we’ll get him on the team.’ and … for the past eleven years, Jake’s done everything for my footballing career, so without him, it wouldn’t have been possible and a good core of that group of boys also had the same kind of thing with Jake and Victor (Lavendaros) and Derek Lewis and coaches like that helping us through.

“So it was a big group and we all knew what we could do. I don’t mean to sound arrogant or anything but we knew what we were capable of, so it wasn’t a big shock to us all, but it was lovely to actually get the results and show the rest of the country that Yukon’s a footballing territory … so that was absolutely fantastic.”

As for what’s next for Weir, “Last season I was playing overseas in Germany,” Weir related. “The season before I was in Victoria playing with a professional club there. Up next, right now I’m just kind of relaxing and allowing my body to fully recover, as I did pick up a couple knocks from the tournament. There was a few rough matches but I’m just recovering and focusing on what I can do next … Sean Fleming’s reaching out to a couple teams and we’ll see what happens from there. We’ll get right into the futsal season so we have some exciting things happening there but we’ll progress and see, maybe look into the CPL (Canadian Premier League), some other professional leagues. I’m not quite sure what’ll happen next … but something will happen for sure. I know it’ll be fantastic.”

In Germany, Weir played for SV Werder-Bremen U21’s. “Werder-Bremen’s one of the biggest clubs in Germany and in Europe, actually, historically” said Weir. “After the season ended, I came home and focused on the Summer Games.”

Weir also played for Blumentahl SV in Germany.

Weir wasn’t willing to speculate on where he may end up.

“I think if I speak on that too much I might get in trouble … but there are some interesting things that are looking quite promising, so something will come up.

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