Burlington blanks Wolves
Brandon Wellington’s latest stop on his long list of soccer travels has landed him with the St. Catharines Club Roma Wolves.
The 31-year-old Brampton native has travelled the globe, suiting up for a variety of teams in Europe before settling in for a handful of years in Iceland where he was a player/coach. He has also played in League1 where he was a member of the 2021 league champion Guelph United.
Wellington is currently a member of the Canadian National Beach Soccer team but was not playing anywhere else when Roma head coach Federico Turriziani asked him to join the Wolves.
“I know him because I’ve been around to watch League 1 games and met him in Burlington and realized he was without a team,” Turriziani said. “I told him a player like you has to play.”
Turriziani persuaded Wellington to meet the Wolves at practice to get a feel for the organization.
“I came to my first practice and had a chat with them and saw what they wanted to do,” Wellington said. “It’s a young team and they wanted some players with more experience which I can bring and I saw the guys on the team had a good attitude so I thought I would come and help out.”
Turriziani feels Wellington’s experience and leadership have been crucial as the Wolves have won three times and tied twice in their last eight games following a rough start to the season.
“He brings experience and is a very good midfielder. I also use him as a centre-back because with his experience he can help everywhere,” Turriziani said. “He was a guy we needed because he’s the only one who has the knowledge of understanding what is going on.
“What we have done in second part of the season is because he’s now on the pitch and he helps a lot with his personality and everything. He’s a very nice guy, very coachable and we’re glad to have him on board.”
Wellington has taken on a leadership role in the past, but not to the extent he has this season.
“I’m not that up there in age yet but I was in Guelph two years ago and had a similar role but I had some other players around that were closer to my age and a lot of experience as well,” he said. “It’s my first time with a team where I’m one of the only ones with a high level of experience and trying to bring that to the team and sharing it with everybody.”
He admits there have been ups and downs.
“It’s a mix. Sometimes it’s a challenge but I coach so that’s a lot of the same thing, bringing my experience and knowledge to younger players. Obviously, it’s a little different playing. It’s different annoyances, different joys when you are coaching and playing when you are in that role, but it’s fun though.”
Wellington, who coaches at the Burlington Soccer Academy, credits his father with his passion for the sport.
“My dad was a big proponent. He was a soccer fanatic and pushed me into the sport and fell in love with it as a young kid and have been playing it ever since,” he said.
He stepped away from competitive soccer a couple of years ago after the birth of his son Logan, but got the bug again playing beach soccer.
“Beach soccer reignited the fire and drive to play again and I’ve been doing that consistently,” he said.
The Wolves dropped a 6-0 decision Friday night at Roma Park to Burlington SC. They host Mississauga SC Friday, Aug. 4 at 8:45 p.m.
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