Edmonton Alberta (February 20, 2013) – Continuing with its mandate to develop young, Canadian soccer talent, FC Edmonton has officially signed five of its reserve team players to first team contracts.
Defenders Mallan Roberts and Chris de Guise, forwards Ajeej Sarkaria and Sadi Jalali and midfielder Hanson Boakai have all put pen to paper for Edmonton’s professional soccer club.
“I’m so proud of these guys and I’m really looking forward to following their professional careers from the beginning,” said reserve team head coach and first team assistant coach Jeff Paulus. “We’ve had so much success getting our reserve players into the national team fold and developing their already significant skill levels, it’s really a great day for the club to be able to say that we’re developing our own talent.”
“We hope fans will come out and support their fellow Edmontonians on the pitch this year,” he added.
The five players joined the rest of the team at training camp on Friday for medicals and fitness testing. Camp continues tomorrow at the Commonwealth Fieldhouse with two-a-days.
New Signing Player Briefs
Arriving in Canada from Sierra Leone at the age of nine, Roberts grew up in Edmonton where he made his name on the football field where he played for his high school football team, then the Edmonton Huskies junior program and spent a few weeks training with the Edmonton Eskimos (CFL team). It wasn’t until university where Roberts had started making a name for himself in soccer. In 2011, he was an essential defender in the NAIT squad going for a national college title. Roberts joined the FC Edmonton reserves in 2012.
Chris de Guise:
From Montreal Quebec, de Guise played for FC Select as his first elite soccer team at the U-14 level. From there he moved to St. Hubert and played with the club from U-16 to U-18. Playing university soccer first at Champlain College, he was scouted by NAIT and then joined the FCE Reserves shortly after in 2012.
Born in Teldou Guinea, Boakai and his family moved to Edmonton when he was seven, starting out his soccer career in Edmonton with Xtreme FC. He was scouted by the FC Edmonton reserve squad in 2011 and has been playing with the team ever since. When he was 15, he made his debut in the Canadian youth program and since then has had several call ups to the Canadian U-17 Men’s projects.
Scouted by the FC Edmonton reserve team in 2011 - Sarkaria has been with the team for the past two years. From Edmonton Alberta, Sarkaria began playing soccer with the Edmonton club Juventus - and was part of the U-14 side that won the 2009 BMO National Championships. Currently part of the FC Edmonton academy, Sarkaria continues to finish high school while playing with the team.
Born in New Delhi, Jalali and his family moved to Quebec, Canada when he was one-year-old. Later moving to Richmond, BC, and then finally Edmonton, Alberta - he began playing soccer at the age of five with the Millwoods Soccer Association. At 14, he made his debut with the Canadian youth program in 2010. He helped Canada win the silver medal in the 2011 CONCACAF U-17 Championship and represented Canada at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico 2011. He began with the FC Edmonton Reserves in 2012.
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