The Canadian Premier League (CPL) is the country’s primary national soccer league competition. It began operations earlier this year and not only was it exciting for me because I am a big fan of football ⚽ [soccer] and its future in the country, but also because one of my good friends is a top player in the league. Tomasz Skublak is a professional soccer player for the Halifax Wanderers FC of the new Canadian Premier League (CPL). It is exciting having a good friend play in the CPL and be able to watch him grow and play the sport he loves here in Canada. What was even better, was taking a few minutes to chat with him during the closing stages of his (and the CPL’s) inaugural season! We chatted about his future, being a professional athlete and the future of soccer in Canada. Enjoy!
Tell us about being a professional soccer player in the Canadian Premier League (CPL) with the Halifax Wanderers is like.
My role as a professional soccer player in the Canadian Premier League (CPL) is to improve myself in all aspects of my game, as well as adapting to the intense and unique environments that each individual brings to the training or game. I am also here to showcase the importance of good quality players playing soccer in Canada.
You started off playing in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) for the University of Guelph and then transitioned your last 2 years into the NCAA for the University of South Florida, was it difficult adapting to a new school and playing environment?
I believe that it was difficult to adapt at first because the training sessions were so physically demanding and the level of talent was much higher.
The amount of resources provided in the States doesn’t compare to what Canadians get and the science behind soccer is really put to use in the States where recovery, training loads and numbers are used to maximize performance.
What are your future expectations, goals, and missions in your career?
I aim to play in Canada for another year before taking my career overseas to Europe and showcase my talents there to see if I can move on to bigger things in sense of soccer. I also want to showcase how important working hard is for us Canadians to get to the next level of soccer because we are somewhat looked down upon in the soccer world.
What are your 3 most difficult aspects of being a professional athlete?
The three most difficult aspects I would say are adjusting to a brand new team when you join.
Another example for me is that you play with so many people around the world that the language barrier can get hard.
Lastly, I think the different ways of thinking how to play can affect how a player plays because they feel like the different style one person sees soccer is different from what they see.
What advice would you give to aspiring athletes?
The advice that I would give aspiring athletes is that you need to follow your dreams and just do what makes you happy, regardless of money. I would also tell them to make the most of every opportunity because you never know what will happen to you and where you might end up with a positive attitude.
From your point of view, what do you think can help grow soccer in Canada?
I think proper scouting can grow it and developing local talents from a young age can help soccer in Canada. As well as treating it as a top-level in regards to routines and exercises that the best countries in the world use, this will encourage equal training and developmental effects long term for Canada as a whole.