“There’s nothing more that I love than scoring goals, so that’s what I’m coming there to do.”

Jordi Swibel’s cell phone came to life just as he was heading into the gym in his hometown of Sydney, Australia and Valour FC’s newest member was, naturally, asked for a weather report.

“It’s about 10 a.m. here and it’s already 25 degrees,” began the 24-year-old forward. “The forecast says we should get to 30.”

Informed of the conditions here in Winnipeg — -20C – and that he had better layer up for when he arrives for training camp next month, Swibel chuckled.

“Quite a bit different from here to there,” he said. “I appreciate the advice. I’ll be ready. I can’t wait.”

Swibel is the latest component to Valour FC’s 2024 rebuild, putting his name to a deal with the club after a recent long conversation with GM and head coach Phillip Dos Santos.

“He put a lot of faith and trust in me and gave me some good words and it was pretty easy from there. Phil made my mind up for me,” Swibel said. “I’m at the stage now where I need to be playing a lot of games and Phil gave me the belief I could come into Valour and do a good job and help the team win. That’s my goal and the club’s goal.

“Confidence is a big thing as a footballer and if the head coach can give you that it sets you on your way. That was the turning point for me.”

Swibel spent 2023 with the Marconi Stallions, a second division team in Australia, and led the club with 15 goals in 28 matches. Prior to that he was part of the Western Sydney Wanderers (2021-22) and Sydney FC (2018-21) and also had a stint with Hapoel Nof HaGalil in Israel.

He is a lifelong friend of Tass Mourdoukoutas, who signed with Valour FC just after Christmas after spending a year and half with York United FC.

“We’ve known each other since we were nine or 10 years old and played together with Western Sydney,” said Swibel. “He’d been at York for the last season and a half and so I’d spoken to him on a number of occasions since he got there and got to know the league from following him because he’s a good friend of mine. I knew about the league and had already done some research and since signing I’ve done even more to try and get to know what the league is about. It’s a strong league and there are some really good players who have done very well. I’m looking forward to be a part of it.

“I’ve played overseas before. I’m someone who is quite adventurous and wants to push myself in my career. I’ve got big goals and ambitions and I felt coming into the Canadian Premier League would help me reach that. I had options to stay at home, but with the drive I have for my career I wanted to push myself to the next level and coming to Canada will definitely do that for me.

“I’ve done some research and from what I’ve seen there’s a lot of eyes on Canada and from that there are pathways to America, Scandinavia, and other parts of Europe. It just seems like a great opportunity to come and get a different set of eyes and more eyes on me.”

Swibel has scored at every level he’s played and in describing himself outlined his work ethic as the foundation for his game, alone with his speed, strength, confidence, and ability to defend even from the forward position.

“I leave it all on the pitch. I hate losing in any aspect of life and that encompasses who I am as a player,” he said. “There’s nothing more that I love than scoring goals, so that’s what I’m coming there to do.”

That, and helping Valour reach the postseason for the first time as a franchise, are huge parts of the appeal of his newest adventure.

“Being part of something, whether it’s new or rebuilding, is very exciting,” Swibel said. “There’s addedpressure, but pressure is a good thing. It’s going to be an exciting adventure for us as a team to have a clean slate and really push for success.”