Published on October 18, 2016 | by Stefan Spiroff Photography by Humber Recreation0
Brampton-born striker helps Humber stay undefeated
Humber striker Jaineil Hoilett is one of the only players on his team who knows the difference between playing soccer in North America and in Europe.
“Just the technical aspect of the game. They understand a way of playing soccer differently than in Canada – with tactics and the way they set up their formations, and the way they defend. Everything is just a little bit different,” he said.
Hoilett is a 24-year-old striker on the Humber Hawks men’s varsity soccer team. Over the past five years, he played in both England and Germany before FC Dallas drafted him in the fourth round of the Major League Soccer SuperDraft in January 2015.
He is also the only player on the Humber roster to be drafted by an MLS team.
Unfortunately, his MLS career ended when he suffered a severe knee injury in a preseason game that forced him to return to Canada.
He began playing with the Hawks in September 2015.
“He does a lot for our team on and off the field. In games where things aren’t going our way – he’s the guy to look towards. He steps up and gets the job done,” said Humber Hawks Assistant Coach Ricardo Fonseca.
Coach Fonseca says Hoilett has had a major impact on the Hawks since he joined.
A native of Brampton, Ont., he scored five goals to lead Humber to a 9-0-1 record in his rookie season. He also helped them to a nail-biting 1-0 win in the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association Finals.
The CCAA named him Academic All-Canadian of the Year for the 2015-16 season.
Humber is 19-0-1 since Hoilett joined the team at the beginning of last season. And they are undefeated in ten games this season.
He already has eight goals.
Hoilett says he has enjoyed his time with Humber so far.
“From the beginning I felt very welcomed, and it’s been a new experience, especially with all the accolades – the All-Canadian, and going to nationals,” he said.
Hoilett’s older brother Junior, who currently plays in a second tier English league with Cardiff City FC, helped him work on both his strengths and weaknesses.
“It was helpful to have someone in my environment who I could play with anytime. At times it could get a bit rough because we both hate losing. He never took it easy on me at all,” said Hoilett.
His teammates appreciate his leadership qualities even though he is not the most outspoken player in the dressing room.
“He’s not extremely vocal, but on the field he brings a balance of both skills and leadership,” said Hawks captain Kingsley Boasiako.
Hoilett said one of the proudest moments of his career is when he played for Canada twice – among the other things, like the 2015 MLS SuperDraft.
He shares some advice for young athletes whose ultimate goal is to play in a top league.
“Train as much as you can, and try not to take any days off. The most important thing I’ve learned growing up is to stay away from a party life as you get older because that could lead you down the wrong path,” he said.