Daimon Gill will join the backline of the UBC Okanagan Heat men’s soccer's team next fall straight from Abbotsford Traditional Secondary.
KELOWNA, B.C. – Fraser Valley FC captain Daimon Gill will join Dante Zanatta’s 2015 recruitment class for the UBC Okanagan men’s soccer team’s second foray into Canada West next season.
The 5’10, 155 pound Gill will shore up the defensive end for his defensive-minded new coach in Zanatta. Currently playing rightback for his BC Soccer Premier League team as well as previously for his Abbotsford Traditional Secondary School team, he expects to step into a similar role for the Heat next year.
“A lot of players don’t enjoy defending because you don’t necessarily receive the praise that some of the attacking players do,” he said, beginning to eschew his pride in his position, adding that “I very much enjoy it. [Rightback] also provides me the opportunities to venture up the field and attack as well.”
Gill cites his confidence in one-on-one situations to be his biggest strong suit out on the turf. “My delivery on crosses … allows me to contribute to the attack when I find myself in an advanced position,” he also added.
When on the attack, Gill claims confidence in his playmaking ability, citing an aptitude in delivering quality passes into the 18 yard box to set up the goal.
Zanatta agrees with the signee’s assessment of his skills saying that “Diamon loves to defend, win the one on one battles, and has a good ability to play the correct exit pass which is crucial as a defender,” these on field skills will bode well at the CIS level for the Abbotsford recruit.
Most importantly, Gill brings a strong work ethic that is always the most coachable asset of any young player. “Whether it is in training or in a game, I will always give my 100% to anything that I do.”
A natural leader, Gill has been captain of his high school team since Grade 10. Under his leadership, his senior team in high school recently went undefeated and qualified for the provincial championships for the first time in his tenure there, eventually placing 13th in the province.
Citing his largest accomplishment and experience in soccer, Gill recounted how he was selected to take part in the Olympic Development Program camp in Tampa, Florida in 2012, where he attended a four day training camp at the IMG Academy.
Like many Heat recruits before him, Gill was attracted to UBC Okanagan to pursue his university studies largely because of the close knit community and smaller class sizes. “I have had family who have attended [UBC Okanagan] and have had nothing but positives to say about the school, which further increased my desire to attend.”
Daimon has had playing experience with another former Gill to the Heat roster in this year’s fifth-year defender Joe Gill, both players having played on a team together in the Indo-Canadian’s club’s recent local tournament. In conversations with Joe and other former Heat players, Daimon grew a great amount of admiration and respect for coach Zanatta. “I know that coach Zanatta is one who demands the highest standards of his players, and I am extremely excited to be a part of his program,” the latter Gill said.
And head coach Dante Zanatta and his staff are thrilled and the prospect of coaching and developing the young leader.
“We look forward in having Diamon joining our program, he is an outstanding young man with great character and those are things that are important to our program, as the captain of his club team he brings the experience of being a leader and working within a program,” says Zanatta.
Gill plans to enter a Bachelor of Science program, and is still balancing a decision between majoring in Biology or Psychology, with ambitions to eventually go into medicine to become an orthopedic surgeon, or sports psychology. “Both of these career paths are extremely fascinating to me as they would both allow me to work with athletes,” he explained.
In his spare time, Gill likes to give back to his community by volunteering to coach 5-6 year olds in the spring and summer.
The Abbotsford native is excited for the jump to university level school and soccer away from home, but realizes that the new experience will come alongside challenges. “I will be going from playing with 17 and 18 year old boys, to playing with 23 and 24 year old men,” Gill said plainly. “I have worked towards [university soccer] my entire youth career and with countless hours on the field, in the gym, and on the track I have been able to achieve my goal.”
Watch Daimon and the rest of the Heat men’s soccer team in action next fall on the Nonis Sports Field. Check back at goheat.ca for updated 2015 schedules when they have been released.