INTERVIEW – Last Word on Soccer spoke with Dylon Powley, FC Edmonton goalkeeper on September 26, 2019.
Dylon Powley: A lot of us play for the love of the game
1. Talk about your experience in Sweden, how did it come about and what made you put pen to paper?
“When I was playing with Calgary Foothills, one of my teammates who’s name is Tyler Hutchins took the leap to go to Sweden and there was a gentleman from there – Oscar Melander who acted as an agent and honestly did it out of the goodness of his heart.
He didn’t charge anything, just wanted to see Canadians be successful so he set me up with 3 or 4 trials so I ended up in Gotland, in the middle of the Baltic Sea. I was on trial there for a week. The day I left I got a call from the coach telling me they wanted me to come back and ended up putting pen to paper, then flew home little while later.”
2. What’s the Scandinavian way of doing things? The hard working mentality and maybe you saw a little bit as to why they’re national teams are very successful.
“They are different than a North American way of playing per say, where as in Canada and the US you might see a lot of bigger, stronger guys. And in Europe and Sweden; there are smaller technical players that see the game in a completely different way than we do. Everything is so calm, everything is so organized. They make it look so effortless over there compared to here.”
3. Zachary Sukunda Of Halifax Wanderers said in an interview in his time there that he felt
Isolated in the locker room. Did you feel that way?
“In Anything you do it’s always tough being the outside sort of speak, on my team I was the only person who wasn’t from Sweden. Having to learn the language, having to make new friends and try and build the social aspect of your life is difficult when you feel like an outsider. I can definitely sympathize with Zach on that. It’s difficult and definitely mentally taxing for sure.”
4. In an interview with Lars [Hirschfeld] he credited the success that you guys have been able to push each other to have a strong goalkeeper union and try to improve each and every day.
“Absolutely Yeah and Connor and I are both very lucky to have someone of Lar’s stature – just the way he’s been around the world and all the things he’s seen. A lot of comes down to what he brings to training every day and how he helps us get the most out of each other.
Working with Connor, we’ve been friends for a long time. Played with and against each other growing up so it’s nice to be on this journey with somebody who you’re very familiar with and built a strong connection. So I’m grateful for both those guys.”
5. You came out of the USports System, obviously with the new partnership and draft – do you think that will help collegiate talent stay in Canada as opposed to taking offers in division I and Division II NCAA schools?
“It’s gonna help, in the MLS for a long time you could only get drafted if you were an American player in an American school. So now that the CPL has come come out through that initiative to be able to draft players. It gives them a good platform to show they’re skills at the CIS level and if they can excel there then it’s a good thing that the CPL is able to pick up on those players.”
6. Talk about the game that you played against the wanderers and getting the clean sheet.
“Just thankful for the opportunity, being able to get out there put in a good week of training that week. I remembered saying to myself ‘you don’t know when your next opportunity is coming so just make the best of it’ and ended up what I think was a pretty solid game so hopefully there’s more to come.”
7. You played for the Foothills for two years. More than half the team is in Cavalry, some of the other players on other clubs rosters. This year the vast of majority of that squad gone and still winning their division in USL League Two. Does that speak to the talent of Alberta?
“I would say Alberta is definitely overlooked in a lot of aspects in terms of Canadian soccer. You look at the team that we had the first year – our motto was ‘Why not us’ and it was a group of us who wanted to get better.
Unfortunately it didn’t go our way that year losing in the final, but lots of positives to take away from that. Just the willingness to win and to prove people wrong spoke to the testament on how much talent is here.”
8. Dominik Zator said in an interview that for A lot of these guys like himself, it’s about chasing a dream. That it’s not about the money, that they could be making more money in an office. My guess it’s the same situation having a degree?
“Yeah it is about the the love of the game, I’ll even take you back to the Foothills PDL days. All those guys were committed to practicing every single day and none of us were getting paid anything.
We put in that time and that commitment and this is just the next step, for a guy like Zator who’s put in a lot of work in University and on the pitch the sky is the limit for somebody like him, we have guys like him on our team. They could be doing anything else in the world but they’re trying to make work.”