Vancouver Whitecaps has built its reputation through having a high class youth and residency programme. Ben Fisk has made his way through the ranks in Vancouver and now has his sights on becoming a regular in Martin Rennie’s side. Despite being in Germany he took time out of his hectic schedule to give www.soccernightexclusive.wordpress.com an insight into his career ambitions and why The FA should stand up and take notice.

For all the British fans who are unfamiliar with you. What sort of player are you ?

I’ am a very attack minded player. I’m very dangerous on the dribble, I score goals and I can also play the killer pass.

What age and how did you get into soccer ?

I started playing at the age of 4, while my family was living in Boston. I loved playing in the backyard and what not. So my parents decided to sign me up for the local club

Have you always wanted to become a professional soccer player ?

Yes it has always been my dream. I played a lot of different sports growing up but it was always going to be soccer.

Who was your inspiration growing, ensuring your dream was turned into reality ?

I wouldn’t say I had just one inspiration. I was inspired by a number of athletes, both in football and other sports. But my family and friends. At the end of the day those are the people that matter. They would love me with or without the football and they will always be my inspiration.

Vancouver Whitecaps are now a huge part of the MLS. What was the youth system like to be a part of ?

In my opinion the Vancouver Whitecaps have hands down the best youth set up in North America. They are miles above the rest and are still making strides every year to improve it. It was a pleasure to be a part of.

What would say is the difference between the Vancouver program and the others ?

In Vancouver they have really tried to model the European system. They have a full time residency program where the players go to school with one another and train together every day, and they have a billet system to billet out of town players with families in the area. At the moment I think the only full time residency program in North America is the US national team set up in Florida. Everyone at the club has made the youth set up a priority and this is why it has been so successful.

You are currently in the reserves at Vancouver. What is the standard like in the reserve league?

The standard in the MLS reserve league is pretty high. You get a good mix of first team players with some youth first teamers and it’s very competitive.

You have played international soccer for Canada at many youth levels. Currently you play for the U20’s side. What feeling do you get when you represent your country ?

Playing for your country is always an honour. I’ am also eligible to represent England and when I was younger that was a dream of mine, but when I first had the opportunity to represent Canada I was very proud. That pride has continued every time I’ve put on the Canadian shirt.

Where does your eligibility to represent England come from ?

My dad was born in Canterbury so I have a British passport as well as citizenship.

Apart from yourself who in the youth set up in Canada should we be looking out for in the future ?

Russell Teibert, Caleb Clarke and Bryce Alderson are all Whitecaps products and have great futures ahead of them. Doneil Henry is with Toronto FC and is a great player. And Samuel Piette who is playing in Germany with Fortuna Dusseldorf is another great player to watch out for.

Who in the current Vancouver Whitecaps first team do you look up to the most ?

I wouldn’t say I really look up to anyone. But really enjoy training with the guys who have played at the highest level like YP Lee, Alain Rochat, Jay DeMerit. Probably my favourite player to train with was Davide Chiumiento when he was still with the club.

Where would you like to see your career in five years’ time ?

In five years’ time I would like to see myself playing with a top European club.

Do you wish to play in the MLS ?

Yes, I would like to play for Vancouver in the MLS at some point in my career.

What advice would you give to any youngsters wishing to follow in your footsteps ?

Follow your dream. If you want it bad enough you can make it happen. You can have all the talent in the world but it takes a lot more than just that to me it. Work hard and have confidence in yourself and your abilities.

Favourite Goal Scored ?

We toured Spain with the Whitecaps a few years back and I scored both goals in a 2-0 win over the U18’s of Real Madrid. Those would still be my two favourite goals to date.

Best Game You’ve Played In ?

The final of the US Academy League back in July. In our first year in the league as the only Canadian club we made it to the final and unfortunately ended up losing 3-2 to FC Dallas. But it was an amazing end to our season and a terrific benchmark for the ‘Caps organisation.

Best Player You’ve Played Against ?

Back in that game against Real Madrid we played against Jese Rodriguez who has since played some games with the first team. Joel Campbell is another one currently at Real Betis on loan from Arsenal. And YP Lee who I’ve trained with at Vancouver.

Best Player You’ve Played With ?

YP Lee or Davide Chiumiento

Favourite Stadium ?

Santiago Bernabeu or Old Trafford

Best Friend In Soccer ?

My friend Ben McKendry and we played together since we was 6 years old. Ben is playing at the University Of New Mexico this year.

Team Supported Growing Up ?

Real Madrid and Manchester United.

Favourite Food

Italian

Favourite Drink ?

Chocolate Milk

Favourite Holiday Destination

Anywhere on the Mediterranean or California.

First Car (If you drive) ?

1995 Ford Escort

Favourite Film ?

Goodfellas

Favourite Band/Singer/Song ?

Band: The Police

Singer: Drake

Song: None

Hobbies and Interests Outside Of Soccer ?

Spending time with family and friends

What would you do if you won $1million ?

Buy my mom a house.

I would like to thank Ben Fisk for his time and efforts during the interview process.

By Anthony Bedworth

@maplesoccer123

@usbritain05

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