VANCOUVER — Rob Gale remembers back a decade, when York University playmaker Dylan Carreiro impressed under his guidance at a provincial youth tournament.
Years later, following an overseas stint before a return to North America, Carreiro became Valour FC’s first pick when Gale selected the third-year midfielder second overall during Monday’s CPL-U SPORTS Draft.
“We’ve known each other for so long,” Gale said. “I know his characteristics and the qualities he can bring. I remember bringing him out here to Vancouver as a kid, playing in a youth tournament.”
The Manitobans were officially reunited this week, three years after Carreiro returned from a stay at Scottish side Dundee F.C.
“He almost didn’t get a fair shake in Scotland,” Gale added. “To have this opportunity to come back and play in his hometown with some other Manitobans he’s grown up with? It’s just a special feeling for us.
“I’m hoping we can show our confidence in him and get him back to a level he showed during those early years of his professional career. He could be a big piece for us.”
Having scouted Cape Breton throughout last week’s U SPORTS Championship at UBC, Gale moved for a pair of Capers in Rounds 2 and 3.
Valour’s bench boss selected second-year defender Lewis White with the club’s 13th pick before grabbing second-year midfielder Jack Simpson at 16th.
“I knew about Lewis coming in,” Gale said, adding that the Scotsman has experience competing in professional settings.
“You don’t get to those levels as a youth player and stick it out for three, four years in those environments without talent. There’s something there.
“Sometimes a move or a change in environment can give you that boost. I’m looking forward to getting to know him better because I hear great things about his character.”
Simpson, Gale added, turned heads while helping CBU to the U SPORTS final.
“What I like is his versatility,” Gale offered. “He has been a No. 9 and scored goals but has been asked to do a very specific role at Cape Breton. If you didn’t know him you’d think he has all the tools in that position.
“He, potentially, could play any midfield position or as a striker. That versatility as you start building a squad could be a lovely little addition to us.”