The UNBC Timberwolves men's soccer team has landed a national champion to patrol the midfield next season.
Hussein Behery, a 23-year-old native of Cairo, Egypt, who won the 2018 Canadian Colleges Athletic Association national championship in his second of three seasons with the Vancouver Island University Mariners, has signed a commitment to join the T-wolves as a transfer student next season.
Behery scored three goals for the Mariners last season in the Pacific Western Athletic Association and finished second in team scoring. He made two site visits to the UNBC campus before he decided to commit to the T-wolves. Behery will be counted upon to help fill some of the void left by 10 departing players from last year's team.
"Hussein is a tremendous dribbler and has terrific attacking ability," said T-wolves head coach Steve Simonson, in a team release. "He fits our attacking needs really well, and has a chance to really contribute here.
"He gelled seamlessly with our team during his visit to UNBC, and his experience in the PacWest will really help him step in and make a significant impact at U Sports level."
Behery had a chance to work out with the T-wolves indoors at the Northern Sport Centre fieldhouse and will rejoin his UNBC teammates in late July.
"Coming to UNBC, I know I am going to improve a lot," said Behery. "I am going to work on my weaknesses. I know Steve is going to put lots of effort into helping me. If I am going to pursue soccer afterwards, UNBC is a good spot for me. It's a great fit.
"I like the indoor facilities. I like to train indoors. The gym, the changeroom, all that stuff is big for me. I like it. The facilities are very nice. The program that Steve has is all about helping his players improve. It is a huge thing. Everyone is close, everyone is positive. They are all tight, and you can tell from the vibes."
The five-foot-eight Behery is blessed with playmaking abilities and above-average speed and he says the quality of play in PacWest will serve him well as he makes the jump to U Sports. He's hoping the T-wolves, who ranked third in attendance in the Canada West Conference last season, will continue to draw crowds for their games at Masich Place Stadium.
"I like to assist goals," he said.
"My scoring is going to improve under Steve. I am quick with the ball, and I am a good dribbler.
"Teams in the PacWest, there are some very good players. We had a very good team, winning nationals. We hosted the nationals in Nanaimo, and there was probably 1,000 people there. It was a great experience. One of the best experiences of my life, by far.
"There is nothing I like more than people watching me play, " he said. "I am not shy. It makes me play better."