Penticton Pinnacle James Fraser battles with Vancouver Thunderbird Manraj Bains for the ball in the Thunderbirds zone in Pacific Coast Soccer League play. Fraser will join the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack men’s soccer program this fall in U Sports.                                 Emanuel Sequeira/Western News

Penticton Pinnacle James Fraser battles with Vancouver Thunderbird Manraj Bains for the ball in the Thunderbirds zone in Pacific Coast Soccer League play. Fraser will join the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack men’s soccer program this fall in U Sports. Emanuel Sequeira/Western News

Fraser brings passion to Pinnacles, WolfPack

Penticton Pinnacle James Fraser got love back for soccer, set to return to U Sports soccer

James Fraser has his soccer mojo back.

The Penticton Tim Hortons Pinnacle forward took a year off from the game after spending a season in Holland with SBV Excelsior Rotterdam’s youth academy, then played one season with the Simon Fraser University Clan in U Sports.

“I was playing everyday. When you play everyday, for almost your whole life, you kind of stop looking at all the positives of soccer,” said Fraser, whose first goal of the season on June 3 was the winner on a penalty shot against the Vancouver Thunderbirds. “It was great for me to take a year off.”

Fraser was vocal on the pitch and has taken it upon himself to be a leader on the Pinnacles with a group of players he has known since his minor soccer days.

“Talking is everything. Communication is key and I just think we are so comfortable together, where I’m able to do that,” he said. “I’m just cheering on my friends.”

Fraser, who has played previously for the Pinnacles, is “pumped” about playing. He is also returning to university level with the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack. He joins the program as they are set to host the U Sports national championship this fall. Coach John Antulov has been trying to get Fraser into his program for three years.

“He was a player that I was very high on and worked with (Pinnacles FC executive director and head coach) Ezra Cremer to join TRU,” said Antulov. “Unfortunately, at that time he made the decision to join SFU but he was a great kid and a player that I always spoke with. It didn’t work out personally for him at SFU, but we finally were able to make it work here and I couldn’t be more pleased.”

Fraser is described as a dynamic player by his Pinnacles coach Ezra Cremers.

“James certainly is a special player,” Cremers said. “He possesses a high football IQ and has tremendous skills. In my 21 years as a head coach I can honestly say I haven’t dealt with too many players of the quality—both on and off the pitch –of James.

“He is an impact player,” continued Cremers. “He will have very little problem not only cracking the roster at TRU but likely starting. James really benefited by spending some time as a under-19 player with our professional affiliate Excelsor Rotterdam.”

Antulov likes that Fraser is such a coachable player, who will give the WolfPack unlimited diversity with his game and ability to play anywhere in the midfield and is considered an excellent center back. Antulov believes Fraser will make an immediate impact, forming a great partnership with leading scorer Ryan (Glanville).

“James is a very similar player to him in size, technical ability and is a natural goal scorer,” said Antulov. “It will be very difficult for defenses to just focus on closing Ryan down with James working with him up front. This gives us four top-end offensive players with Mitch (Popadynetz) and Justin (Donaldson) and gives us many options going into attack.”


 

@pentictonsports
sports@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Discovery House executive director Jerome Abraham in front of the third building, Parkers Place, for the addiction recovery program. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Discovery House opens Parkers Place in Penticton to provide transitionary care

The addiction recovery program is now able to provide support for as long as necessary

Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen offices in Penticton. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen showcases local government

The RDOS has put together a video as part of Local Government Awareness Week

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

Duckie Lucky Preschool is one of the few child care locations available in Keremeos. (Brennan Phillips – Keremeos Review)
Report: Keremeos to need 40 child care over the next decade

The RDOS has completed their study on child care needs in the region

The future of the Okanagan Lake watershed land use will be subject of a new study supported by a $300,000 grant from the Vancouver Foundation. (Contributed)
Grant to help develop Okanagan Lake protection strategy

Study receives $300,000 grant from the Vancouver Foundation.

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Poached trees that were taken recently on Vancouver Island in the Mount Prevost area near Cowichan, B.C. are shown on Sunday, May 10, 2021. Big trees, small trees, dead trees, softwoods and hardwoods have all become valuable targets of tree poachers in British Columbia as timber prices hit record levels. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne.
Tree poaching from public forests increasing in B.C. as lumber hits record prices

Prices for B.C. softwood lumber reached $1,600 for 1,000 board feet compared with about $300 a year ago

A man and woman, both 33 and from Kelowna, were arrested on Postill Lake Forest Service Road in possession of two stolen vehicles Friday, May 14, 2021. (File photo)
Kelowna duo arrested with stolen vehicles after ‘brief’ bicycle getaway attempt

A man and a woman were arrested on a forest service road on numerous pending charges

The BC Conservation Officer Service (COS) handed out fines to two anglers on Shuswap Lake who were both casting more than one line, in violation of provincial regulations, Saturday, May 15, 2021. (COS photo)
Conservation officers snag Shuswap anglers for unlawful fishing

Two anglers were given $150 fines for casting two lines at once, against provincial regulations

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Lynda Saundry, born 1961, is charged with the murder of North Okanagan resident Barry Jones in July 2020. Saundry will appear in Vernon court May 17, 2021, to fix a date for a preliminary inquiry. (Facebook public photo)
North Okanagan murder suspect to be tried by judge and jury

Lynda Saundry is charged with the first-degree murder of Barry Jones in July 2020

Vernon Search and Rescue’s Legacy vessel is returning to Okanagan Lake for boating season, the society said Friday, May 14, 2021. (VSAR photo)
Vernon Search and Rescue vessel returns to Okanagan Lake

VSAR’s Legacy is back with a fresh coat of paint and some other upgrades

People shop in Chinatown in Vancouver on Friday, February 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver community leaders call for action following 717% rise in anti-Asian hate crimes

‘The alarming rise of anti-Asian hate in Canada and south of the border shows Asians have not been fully accepted in North America,’ says Carol Lee

Most Read