KELOWNA, BC -- Nikhil Reddy, an accomplished midfielder coming to the Heat most recently from Surrey United, is the next addition to the UBC Okanagan men’s soccer program for 2016.
Reddy is a 5’8” central midfielder, bringing to the Heat an extensive soccer resume that stretches back more than a decade.
Starting his soccer career with Surrey United FC back in 2005, Reddy went on to collect a respectable list of accomplishments before signing on as a member of the Heat beginning in 2016.
Nikhil spent five years in the Vancouver Whitecaps system, from 2007 through 2013. From 2007 to 2010, he played in the Whitecaps Prospects program. From 2010 to 2012, he was in the Pre-Residency group, and from 2012 to 2013 Reddy was a member of the Whitecaps Residency program.
During his time in the Whitecaps system, Nikhil competed at an exceptionally high level. He was a semi-finalist at the Surf Cup tournament in San Diego in 2009, and a Nike Crossfire Challenge Champion that same season. In 2010 he was a finalist at both of those tournaments. Next, he was named a member of the BC Provincial U13 team, and was chosen by Sean Fleming as a member of the Western Canadian All-Star Team.
Reddy returned to the Surf Cup in 2014, making it to the finals once again, and to the Nike Crossfire Challenge in 2015, winning the U19 Super Group Championship after returning to his Surrey FC side of the BC Soccer Premier League.
As to what he believes that his already extensive soccer career will allow him to bring to the Heat, Reddy is confident he can be a well-rounded addition.
“As a player my strengths are being able to find those game changing passes through the opposing teams while also being solid defensively. Along with my consistency, I believe I possess a high in-game IQ that allows me to read the game quicker than many other players.” He also added, “coming in as a freshman I am excited to have the opportunity to make an impact in every game this upcoming season and help UBCO become one of the best teams in the CIS.”
Coach Dante Zanatta believes that he has found a good fit with Nikhil for his Heat squad.
"Nikhil has all the qualities that we are looking for in a midfielder that our team requires that will help us make the step up in Canada west football, especially with the loses of Manny [Straith] and Dylan [Abbott] in the past years," Zanatta figures.
"We look forward in working with Nikhil and helping him raise the level of his game his ability to expose teams with his passing should help our attack as he develops in the years to come," continues the head coach going into his sixth season. "This year's team will be very exciting to watch in preseason as the players battle for starting spots, the action will be intense with the quality that Nikhil brings and with the players returning."
Coming to UBC Okanagan to study Human Kinetics as well as play soccer, Reddy explained why he chose the campus and program.
“I chose UBCO because it is a top class university that also allows me to play soccer at a high level. Coach Dante also played a very big part in my committing, as he is different from many coaches. He believes that if you are good enough, then you are old enough to play. I am optimistic that working with Dante will help elevate my game and help myself become a standout player.”
A former teammate also helped Nikhil make his decision. “I am also looking forward to playing alongside Jeevin Kang, who I have played with at Surrey United and the Vancouver Whitecaps Residency,” said Reddy. He continued, “Jeevin brings that balance to the midfield that allows me to attack further up the pitch but he can also attack while I sit back and keep the balance. I believe having played with him before brings that chemistry that will bring out the best in both of us."
Joining Reddy as high school signees on the roster for this fall will be: Christian Taylor (Mid, Courtenay, BC), Zachery Rachinski (F, Kamloops, BC), Wyatt Gilbert (W, Langley, BC), Nicholas Reitsma (GK, Kelowna, BC), Spencer Young (LB, Kelowna, BC) and Liam Foulger (CB, Surrey, BC).
The Canada West men's soccer schedule gets started early this year, the seven new recruits and the Heat men's squad open up at home with matches on Saturday (Aug. 27) against the University of Victoria and then on Sunday (Aug. 28) versus UBC. Both matches start at 3 p.m. on the Nonis Sports Field on the UBC Okanagan campus.