Video Spotlight - Jordan Whitehead

Langley, British Columbia - When Trinity Western midfielder Jordan Whitehead first took the pitch at the Langley, B.C. campus, it quickly became apparent to the Spartans coaching staff they had a special player.

The 5-foot-7, 156-pound Surrey product came into training last fall and asserted himself as a player coach Pat Rohla could consistently count on to help man the midfield.

As a freshman, Whitehead started 15 games for Trinity Western, played 1260 minutes, had three assists and was named both a Canada West 2nd Team All-Star and the Spartans Rookie of the Year.

“We recognized it last year as a rookie that he would have a very bright future at Trinity Western,” Rohla said. “He might be our most stable and productive player today. He has safe feet. He’s a hard tackler and has a great soccer IQ. He’s just an all around top end player.

“He’s a heart and soul guy and a real major part of the fabric of this team.”

Last year, Whitehead – whose sister, Chantelle, plays on the women’s team at Trinity Western – was positioned on the wing, a relatively unfamiliar position for him, but the Fleetwood Park graduate did exactly what the coaches anticipated. He adapted and succeeded.

“Last year was great,” Whitehead said. “It was new and, coming to the Spartans, it was hard to crack the squad but I managed to do it. I was playing a new position, and that’s always difficult to get used but I was able to find the areas where I could excel and I was able to keep my spot.”

This year, when Whitehead and the Spartans started training late in the summer – following an off-season of shoulder surgery rehabilitation – the coaches put the now second-year back into his high school position in the middle and so far, the reviews of overwhelmingly positive.

Despite being unable to train at a high level during the summer because of his shoulder rehab, Whitehead seemed to have missed very few beats since last season.

So far this year, the feisty Whitehead has played in all five Canada West matches, has started four of them and has continued to develop into a quality leader for the Spartans.

“My goal this year is to stay in the starting squad and keep influencing players, some of the younger players and some of the older players, and show them how I can play and how I want other people to play,” Whitehead said. “I feel my play on the field tends to help other players see how we can play.”

It’s only his second year, but so far, it doesn’t seem like he’ll have to worry about losing his starting spot.

But his mindset of taking nothing for granted is a strong characteristic within the swift midfielder. And if he keeps playing like he has been thus far, he’ll be the man in the middle, the Spartans core if you will, for years to come.

Last Updated: 2010-12-21
Author: Mark Janzen