Kicking around the soccer ball every chance he gets is the way Ryan Murrin loves to spend his summer holidays because he wants to be the best he can be.
Murrin, a 16-year-old native of Irishtown, is captain of the Western Wolves entry in the Newfoundland and Labrador U17 male soccer league.
Playing against the best players in his age group from around the province is the only way he knows he can improve his skills, so he’s up to the challenge of leading a pack of Wolves to the top of the standings in a highly competitive league.
“There’s obviously people better than you playing in the league so to get better you have to be able to play against the top players,” Murrin said Monday afternoon.
The Wolves opened the season on the road, losing three games on the east coast over the weekend. Murrin and company opened the season with a 3-0 loss to Paradise before slipping to 0-3 with 2-0 and 7-0 losses to a talented St. John’s entry over the weekend.
It’s not the results the team was hoping for, but Murrin figures it should prove to be a good measuring stick as to what’s to come for the balance of the schedule.
“We’re facing a lot of competition so it’s helping us mold as a team and work together better, and overcome the obstacles of being from western and not having the good facilities or the best coaching in Newfoundland,” he said.
Murrin is in his second year with the team. He beams with enthusiasm and brings a strong work ethic to the soccer pitch every day and his efforts were recognized by coach Jeff Mitchell naming the centre midfielder captain of the squad for this season.
“He just puts in 100 per cent effort into every game,” coach Mitchell said of his captain. “ He’s a leader and he sets a good example for the rest of the players and all the players respect him.”
The Wolves will be looking for its first goal when they clash with Paradise Friday 7 p.m. at Wellington Street Soccer Field. The two sides square off again Saturday 3 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to wrap up the three-game series on the west coast.