The 27-year-old centre back and three of his SoccerStop P.E.I. F.C. teammates have joined the Fredericton Picaroons Reds for the Toyota national club soccer championship in Surrey, B.C. It will be a chance to play in front of family and friends.
“The complex we’re playing at is one of the fields I grew up playing on,” the Courtenay, B.C., native said Monday. “It’ll be nice to go back and play in my home province.”
Maund left British Columbia when he was 18 to attend St. FX University in Antigonish, N.S., and moved to Prince Edward Island 3 ½ years ago.
Striker Jared Murphy, midfielder Jimmie Mayaleh and keeper Brandon Eagle are also making the trip from P.E.I. The four players left Monday for Fredericton, N.B., and flew out to B.C. with the team on Tuesday.
Murphy, a key P.E.I. F.C. organizer, said it has been challenging the past couple of years to get enough Island players to attend nationals. Playing in the McCain New Brunswick Premier Soccer League with the Reds opened the communication lines between the Reds and the P.E.I. F.C. players earlier this year.
It’s not the first time the teams have shared players.
Five Reds players joined the Charlottetown Abbies S.C. in 2010 when P.E.I. won the nationals on home turf. Kenny Morrison was one of those New Brunswick players who joined an Abbies team that also included Murphy. They will be teammates again this week, but wear the colours of New Brunswick champs.
The Reds best finish at nationals is sixth at the 2007 championship in Halifax. The Abbies are the last Atlantic Canadian team to win the nationals.
“If we can come anywheres close to the success they had that year that would be a really good thing,” said Murphy, 26.
The Reds open play today against Quebec at 6:45 p.m. Atlantic.
Eagle is an Edmonton native who played four years at UNB before moving to P.E.I. a year ago. He was with the Reds last year when they lost to Quebec in penalty kicks in the quarter-final.
“It will be nice to play them the first game. It’s a different team, but the same province,” he said. “I’m really excited to get out there” and begin play.
Many of the Reds played with the UNB Varsity Reds and would have competed against Maund at St. FX as well as Murphy and Mayaleh, who attended UPEI.
The Island guys played with the Reds a couple of times during the year.
“We’ve all been playing soccer long enough now that we can mesh pretty quickly once we step onto the field,” Murphy said.
Mayaleh said he appreciated the chance to attend another Canadian championship.
“It’s nice because I’m probably going on the end of my nationals run,” the 28-year-old Charlottetown native said.
The tournament’s 10 teams are divided into two five-team divisions fighting for the Challenge Trophy. The Reds will play Quebec, Ontario, the Yukon and Manitoba before crossing over to play a team from the other pool to determine their final standings.
Prince Edward Island has four teams competing at this week’s Toyota club nationals. Here are the teams, where they play and when their first game is:
Host city – Calgary
Team – P.E.I. F.C.
First game – Today at 6 p.m. (Atlantic) vs. Alberta.
Team – P.E.I. F.C.
First game – Today at 3:30 p.m. (Atlantic) vs. Ontario.
Host city – Fredericton, N.B.
Team – R.C. United.
First game – Today at 1 p.m. vs. New Brunswick.
Team – W.C. Royals F.C.
First game – Today at 4 p.m. vs. Manitoba.