(FREDERICTON, NB) Strength and speed. Grit and vision.
Qualities that attracted the UNB Varsity Reds to striker MacKenzie Sinclair and centre-midfielder Jesse Bellamy.
The pair have signed U SPORTS Letters of Intent and will join the Varsity Reds, beginning in the 2017-18 season.
Sinclair was a member of the varsity girls team at Park View Education Centre, in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, and played with the South Shore United club team.
Park View is the same school that produced current VReds fullback Lindsay Lohnes and former team captain Hayley Gates.
Varsity Reds head coach Jon Crossland feels Sinclair flew under the radar of other schools.
“She has a strong foundation to her game,” says Crossland. “Over her time at UNB, she’ll become a handful for AUS defenders to deal with.”
“We’ve had good fortune with South Shore players here, and look forward to MacKenzie carrying on that tradition,” says Crossland.
Crossland and his twin brother Joe, an assistant coach with the VReds, are South Shore products too.
“I feel like I’m dangerous in the offensive end of the field, and as a striker I plan to put some balls in the back of the net,” says Sinclair. “I will do anything to help my team succeed.”
Sinclair will pursue an Arts degree, but has yet to decide on a major.
Bellamy is a versatile defender from St. Catharines, Ontario, who promises to provide a strong, physical presence.
She’s currently playing with the U21 St. Catharines Jets of the Ontario Women’s Soccer League, but has also seen time with the varsity girls team at Governor Simcoe Secondary School and the Guelph Royals.
“I’m able to stay calm on the ball, which I believe helps me to find the best passing option,” says Bellamy. “I’m hoping to bring a hard-working, positive attitude to the team and be a teammate who is a real team player.”
Crossland first saw Bellamy at the Umbro Showcase, where he says she drew interest from a number of schools.
“Jesse is a gritty midfielder that battles hard on the defensive side of the ball and has great vision and passing ability in the attack,” says Crossland.
Bellamy plans on studying Psychology.