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The OPDL Spotlight Series - A Player's Perspective

By OSA News, 08/16/16, 5:15PM EDT


The OPDL Spotlight series has heard from Technical leaders, sport scientists and other experts in their field who are involved in the OPDL. 

In the latest edition of the series, we will now hear from another voice under the OPDL banner. 

Christian Emili is a member of the Burlington Bayhawks U-14 Boys team. Having been in the OPDL program since 2014, Emili tells us in his own words how the program has impacted himself, his development and his club's growth. 

What impact has the OPDL had on your club?

I believe OPDL has had a massive impact on our club itself, and the young athletes at different levels within our club. It has given all players and coaches a focus where they can work towards the highest levels. It has also opened up opportunities for players in Burlington and surrounding areas who wish to further their development.

What makes your club's OPDL program standout?

One of the things I would emphasize is the facilities that we enjoy as a part of the club’s OPDL program. Overall they are top-notch in my opinion. Clubs would be fortunate to have centres like Sherwood Park for example. Because we are an 11-month program, our facilities can be quickly prepared for use any time of the year. This allows players to train on quality pitches without hassles, allowing them to be at their maximum performance every time out.

Why is OPDL important to your club?

OPDL is important for the club because it improves the club’s reputation provincially in many areas. For players, it has increased the level of competition and provides opportunities for players to showcase their abilities if they want to take it to the “next” level, provincial or national. None of this would be possible without access to our OPDL coaches, mentors to challenge all players and coaches. Their goal is to guide their squads through a competitive season with the hope of reaching their full potential.

What are you most proud of during your time in OPDL?

Many of us chose OPDL because of the competitive environment. One of the things I am most proud of is the culture of team and club that has been developed over the past two years. There is such a great vibe on the day of the match! In two years, all the players have got to know one another as players and as people. We compete hard and challenge each other in training week in and week out. It’s been great to see how the team has progressed and how the quality of our play has grown. We may not have reached our potential yet, but, it‘s good to have goals, isn’t it?

What does the OPDL mean to you in five words or less?

Confidence, competition, intensity, unpredictable , personal development. Okay, that was six.

Contributor - Chrisitan Emili 

The Burlington Bayhawk's number 15 is entering grade nine at Westdalle SS in Hamilton. This Inter supproter, who previously played with West Hamilton SC and Ancaster SC, has the distinction of scoring the fastest goal by his team last year. He netted that goal only 15 seconds into a game Nov. 1, 2015 while wearing his Nike Hypervenom II Phantoms.