A league of her own

Profiling the Manitoba Bisons’ midfield sensation Amanda Wong

Photo by Chantal Zdan

University of Manitoba midfielder Amanda Wong is only in her second year, yet her astounding ability to control soccer matches has spectators and the Bisons taking notice.

With only a year of CIS experience under her belt, Wong was named co-captain of the Bisons ahead of the 2015-16 campaign. The bestowing of the captain’s armband on such a young player comes with pressure and lofty expectations – a part of the game that the product of FC Northwest does not view as negative, but rather embraces.

“It’s been a complete honour to have been named captain in my second year. In a way I do believe I have something to prove, I don’t see this as being a negative thing at all,” Wong said.

“I believe that everyone on the team should feel as though they have something to prove – prove that they belong and whatever decisions were made along the way were the right ones.”

Wong has also embraced the learning curve that comes with being a university-level athlete and a team leader. With a lone season of experience, she is already looking to enrich the future with the examples she has gained. Being a former youth coach even further enhances her quality as a leader.

“I’ve already gotten the opportunity to coach several summer camps as well as high-level and recreational-level teams, and I hope that through this I can share my knowledge of soccer with youth players and have a positive impact on them and their development,” Wong said.

Her development as a captain has also been aided by the injury return of goalkeeper and skipper Chloe Werle. Suffering a back fracture last campaign, Werle has recovered remarkably well for this season. As the first-choice shot-stopper enters her final year of eligibility, the Bisons grasped the ideal opportunity to prepare a potential leader like Wong to take the reins.

“One player that is going to be my biggest inspiration for the rest of the year is Chloe Werle,” Wong said. “Working together with her as co-captains is fantastic, and she’s had the most amazing comeback from her injury last year.”

As she continues to emerge as a team cornerstone, her presence as a pillar in the starting 11 is already speaking volumes for the Bisons.

A dominant two-footed player, Wong is blessed with a wide range of distribution. Fulfilling a box-to-box midfielder role, her combined skill set resembles that of Manchester United legend Paul Scholes and Italian maestro Andrea Pirlo.

As far as idols go, her overall style of play is fitting for her hero of choice – Christine Sinclair. Much like Wong, the Canadian soccer icon is a composed difference-maker and natural leader.

“Ever since Canada’s Olympic Bronze in London 2012, I’ve really idolized her. She is always very calm and composed on the field, as well as very technically and tactically talented and also a great leader for her team,“ Wong said.

It’s evident that Wong has the qualities to be a captain. With her in the role, much of the future leadership of the Manitoba Bisons is beginning to take shape. The sky is the limit for this young skipper and the teams she will take charge of down the line.