Just a few years ago Sean Young was wearing the green Bays United jersey on an Oak Bay pitch, but now, at just 19 years old, he’s officially signed his first pro contract with Pacific FC, Victoria’s team in the Canadian Premier League.

“It’s something I’ve dreamed of ever since I started playing and just to sign and to play for this club is amazing,” said Young.

The towering midfielder is a Vancouver Island product through and through. As a child, he grew up playing for the Bays United program. He then spent a few years with the elite V.I. Wave program (now operated by Pacific FC), before impressing scouts and coaches at the next level with the Victoria Highlanders of the USL League 2. In March of last year, he also won Island men’s league soccer’s top prize, the Jackson Cup.

“Every coach, from Bays, through Wave, through Highlanders, through Pacific Soccer Institute — everyone’s helped me out along the way to this point,” said Young.

The signing is one that makes Pacific FC president Josh Simpson beam with

pride. Simpson grew up in Sooke before playing professional soccer overseas and making several appearances with the Canadian Men’s National Team. Since the Pacific FC franchise launched in 2018, Simpson has never been shy about his hopes of providing Island-born players with a pathway to the pros.

“If we can use Sean as a template, as a copy and paste, and we can use him to show all the young players coming up through the ranks, signing up in U8, U9, U10 the possibilities… There’s a lot more opportunity,” said Simpson, who moved away from the Island in his teenage years to pursue his professional dreams.

“I’d love to be an example for all the youth who play soccer on the island and just show them the pathway,” said Young, who less than a month ago was working on the front-lines bagging groceries as a part-time job.

Young has already participated in several practices with the team, though the Canadian Premier League season is still suspended due to COVID-19. Young says he hopes this contract is the first of many in a lengthy career, but for now he’s overjoyed to live and play in the city he grew up in.

“To be at the pro level now, it’s an honour to play for my hometown team and I just look forward to the future,” said the young athlete.

When asked about the possibility of a season in 2020, Simpson conveyed an optimistic outlook saying, “I do believe strongly we will see a 2020 season. I’m very confident we’re going to have something exciting soon.”

The Canadian Premier League’s second season has yet to kick-off and has been suspended since early April.

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