Practice makes perfect for Clarke’s Beach footballer
Clarke’s Beach’s Damian Laundry is a pretty busy 12-year-old.
In the winter, he’s on the ice as much as he can be with the Tri Pen Ice peewee AAA team and other hockey outfits. He loves Canada’s game.
But when the season changes, another sporting passion pulls at Laundry. The onset of spring and summer means it’s soccer season.
“I just like staying active and getting out as much as I can,” he said of his sporting passion. Laundry was named to the province’s under-12 soccer team last summer.
The start of the soccer season means nice days bring plenty of time to kick the ball around. A left-footed player, Laundry’s partner of choice is his older brother Dawson. “If it’s a nice day, my brother and I are usually kicking the ball around,” said Laundry. It’s a dedication to the game, along with plenty of skill that landed Laundry on the provincial under-12 team. He’s always looking to get better and gets to work on different parts of his game as well.
During the opening moments of the Avalon team’s 2016 NL Summer Games soccer tryout, that dedication is on full display.
Laundry and a couple dozen other players move from station to station shuffling their feet, lifting their knees and sprinting between cones.
As he tired and the rain picked up, Laundry kept pushing through the drills. Even as coach Don Coombs bellowed instructions, there he was pushing.
The drive is what sets him apart.
Laundry and his family received notification of his selection via email. It was something unexpected, but especially gratifying.
“I felt really good about being selected,” said Laundry.
He and his teammates will travel to Montreal next month for a national tournament.
A middle viewpoint
Laundry exhibits just as much game speed in soccer as he does when he straps on a pair of skates in the winter.
This speed and a head for the game made him an ideal candidate for the invite-only Team NL tryout late last year. It also helps him successfully play either the striker or middle field position.
While he likes the chance to score some goals for his club up front with the strikers, Laundry is adept in the midfield.
He likes that the position transitions between offence to defence.
“The midfield have to get back to help the defence and then back up to help the strikers,” said Laundry.
Heading to Montreal
Right now, Laundry isn’t having much trouble focusing on the remaining days of school at All Hallows Elementary in North River. Well, as much as a 12-year-old can focus on school when the freedom of summer vacation is within reach.
However, Laundry expects his excitement level to significantly as school lets out later this month.
That’ll only continue to rise as the fly day approaches.
There’s plenty planned for the Newfoundland group while staying in the Montreal and La Belle Province. They’ll take in a Impact FC game, which Laundry is especially looking forward to.
“It’ll be cool to watch them and see how they play,” he said.
There’s customary time for hanging out with teammates, making new friends and getting some valuable game experience.
“I’m excited to play the games and hopefully get some wins,” said Laundry.
I’m excited to play the games and hopefully get some wins. Damian Laundry
Clarke’s Beach’s Damian Laundry is a member of the province’s under12 soccer team.