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TWolves add skill, speed, and flash with the addition of attacking midfielder Mehdi Bounaaja

The newest member of UNBC men’s soccer program can electrify a crowd. Recently, UNBC men’s soccer head coach Steve Simonson announced the commitment of winger/attacking midfielder Mehdi Bounaaja (Surrey, B.C.).

Bounaaja heads North to UNBC via Fleetwood Park Secondary. Last season he notched 14 goals and six assists in 10 games for Sunny Uppal’s Fleetwood Park Dragons. He also competed at the club level for Tom Lowndes’ Surrey United SC. For three years he also played for the Vancouver Whitecaps Academy and has represented B.C. provincially on multiple occasions.

“I like to have fun [on the pitch]. I like to do the odd flashy trick that can take your speech away,” says Bounaaja who lists Neymar as his favourite footballer.

“He’s proven himself to be a top-quality player within the Province. I love the personality and humility that he brings. He’s a great fit personally, and when he got here he instantly clicked with the rest of the group. I’m very excited to see that he wanted to join us,” adds Head Coach Steve Simonson. “He fits the style we like to play. He’s creative, he’s crafty, he can dribble, run, get in behind and find a pass. He’s a really unique player in how he sees the game. And it coincides with what we’re looking for.”

“Steve, from the get-go, has been so great, and the boys have been so welcoming. They took me out everywhere and made sure I enjoyed my stay and felt welcomed,” recalls Bounaaja who is an honour roll student and has plans to study Computer Science at UNBC. “UNBC is really cool. I really like the vibe of everything. It reminds me of a ski lodge but at the same time it’s a place of learning. I really like it.”

Off the pitch, Bounaaja ?plays the drums, volunteers with adaptive programs in soccer, collects shoes and builds computers. Down the road he hopes to help develop FIFA video games or a program of his own.

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