SYDNEY, NS –
Cape Breton Capers forward Charlie Waters grew up no different from any other athlete.
The Blackpool, United Kingdom forward set goals and hoped that one day his hard work would pay off when he was signed to a professional football team.
“I think a lot of people dreamed of playing at the highest level. I know it was definitely mine,” said Waters. “I think playing professionally would be great for anyone.”
Waters will take the next step towards achieving his dream when he joins five of his Capers teammates in the Canadian Premier League-U Sports Draft today.
The two-round draft will take place at 4:00 p.m. Atlantic time and will be broadcast live by OneSoccer on onesoccer.ca. The CPL also broadcasts each selection live on Twitter.
Waters, self-isolating in Big Pond after his return to Cape Breton, didn’t know much about the professional design process until he joined the Capers program.
“I didn’t know it was growing up,” said Waters, who finished second in the Atlantic University Sport championship race with 10 goals and 15 points in the 2019 season.
“We don’t design in Europe, but I’ve known them through all the sports since I came here, so it’s definitely an exciting thing.”
DESIGN OF RULES
The CPL-U Sports Draft consists of 16 selections. Each of the eight teams in the league will make two picks.
The league will use the snake draft format for drafting, which is based on the clubs record for the 2020 regular season. Edmonton FC hold the first overall selection after the team set a 6-1 record at the Island Games in Charlottetown last summer.
All 16 conscripts will be invited to their club’s pre-season training camp today ahead of the 2021 CPL season.
Drawn players can also sign a U Sports Development Agreement, which allows student athletes with one to five years of U Sports eligibility remaining to sign with a CPL team while maintaining their eligibility before returning to U Sports competition .
A total of 48 players from all over U Sports are qualified for this year’s draft. Together with Waters, Euan Bauld, Jamie Watson, Cian Lynch and José Maria Ribeiro da Cunha from Capers are included in the design.
Cape Breton Capers defender Euan Bauld hopes to hear his name in Canada’s Premier League-U Sports Draft on Friday. The product from East Lothian, Great Britain, was used in two games in the 2019 regular AUS season due to injury. Vaughan Merchant / CBU Athletics
Bauld played two regular season games with the Capers during the 2019 season after breaking his foot in the preseason. The defender was able to play in the AUS final and in the national teams in 2019.
Watson, Lynch and da Cunha were due to qualify for the Capers men’s football program in 2020 ahead of the AUS season being canceled due to COVID-19.
Bauld said the Cape Breton Post draft would be one of the proudest moments of his career.
“I’ve put a lot of hard work over the last few years developing my game and myself to be the best player I can,” said Bauld, who currently lives in his native Scotland.
“Playing professionally is something I’ve dreamed of since I was young. I grew up in a professional academy and always worked in a professional environment without getting any real blast. “
The Canadian Premier League was founded in 2017 and includes teams from Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Nova Scotia with Halifax-based HFX Wanderers FC.
CAPE BRETON CAPS ALLOWED FOR THE DESIGN
• Defender – Euan Bauld, East Lothian, UK
• Defender – José Maria Ribeiro da Cunha, Cascais, PT *
• Defender – Jamie Watson, Kircaldy, UK *
• Forward – Charlie Waters, Blackpool, UK
• Forward – Cian Lynch, Dublin, IE *
* Denoted = It was planned to make their Capers debut during the 2020 Atlantic University Sports season ahead of the league’s cancellation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the first two years of the league’s draft, eight of the 33 players selected came from the Capers program, including four in the 2019 draft, in which Cape Breton’s Cory Bent of Wanderers FC took first place overall.
“I believe the success of Capers on and off the field over the past few years is due to the culture that Deano Morley and his coaching staff have put into all of their players,” said Bauld.
“Once you get into the program, you know what it is to be a caper and what it is, and I think this is where success begins.”
During the 2019 draft, Waters was selected in the second round, No. 13 overall, by Winnipeg-based Valor FC, but he never signed with the team.
“There are setbacks and ups and downs in sport,” said Waters. “I’ve always been a confident person and believe in my abilities. I am looking for the opportunity to show teams what I can do on the pitch. “
2021 CPL-U SPORT ROUND ROUND RANKING LIST
• 1st overall – Edmonton FC
• 2nd overall – Atlético Ottawa
• 3rd overall – Valor FC
• 4th overall – York United FC
• 5th overall – Pacific FC
• 6th overall – Cavalry FC
• 7th overall – HFX Wanderers FC
• 8th overall – Forge FC
• 9th overall – Forge FC
• 10th overall – HFX Wanderers FC
• 11th overall – Cavalry FC
• 12th overall – Pacific FC
• 13th overall – York United FC
• 14th overall – Valor FC
• 15th overall – Atlético Ottawa
• 16th overall – Edmonton FC
Coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic and not playing football last season, it was a difficult year for Waters. His father Alan died in England during the holidays.
“My dad played the game a bit and he always said I got my football skills from him,” said Waters. “He took me to my first training session with the local club and it went from there.”
Waters, who plans to follow the draft online, hopes to hear his name in honor of his father.
“He was a great character in my life,” said Waters. “He pushed me and took me to games and tournaments. So in order to get in somewhere and register and play professionally, that would make him happy.”
Jeremy Fraser is the sports reporter for the Cape Breton Post. He’s been on the release for four years. Follow Jeremy on Twitter @CBPost_Jeremy.