(FREDERICTON, NB) Lauren Cubbon is back on familiar ground. Make that, back on familiar turf.
The striker, preparing for her fourth season with the Varsity Reds women’s soccer team, recently returned to Canada from a study exchange in Wales.
While furthering her science and kinesiology studies at Swansea University, Cubbon was one of three Canadians to join the Swansea City FC women’s team.
“I think the City Ladies’ team compared to what we have here in the AUS,” says Cubbon. “It’s a mixture of women and girls. Some of the women on the team were as old as 26, others only 17. Skill-wise, it was just as good as here, very technical and great footwork.”
The Swansea Ladies club plays in the Welsh Premier Women’s League, and is associated with the men’s Swansea side, which plays in the English Premier League.
Cubbon’s connection to the Welsh club came about through an old coach in her hometown of Saskatoon.
In fact, Cubbon was one of three products of Saskatchewan’s High Performance Development Centre to play for the Swansea Ladies this spring.
“We did quite well, we won the Welsh Premier League title,” Cubbon says, modestly.
“I thought I did quite well. I scored a few goals while I was there, and overall had a great experience.”
Cubbon made quite a first impression with Swansea City. She came off the bench, in her first game, and scored against Port Talbot Town.
“Having an opportunity to play with different players, from different countries, in a competitive environment will increase her understanding of the game and roles she can play," says Varsity Reds head coach Jon Crossland.
He feels Cubbon’s experience will mean a lot to her this coming season, and that will impact his entire team.
“Her Swansea team won trophies while she was with them, so anytime you have a player further their championship experience, it helps come our season with expectations of being successful in the AUS and getting to Wolfville in November, for the CIS tournament.”
Cubbon says she’s grown as a player, thanks to her Swansea experience, but even more as a person.
“I think just the level of professionalism, as our team was associated with the Swansea City Premier League team. We wore a Swansea City kit, and we had to remember that and act professional wherever we were, the same as is expected when wearing the UNB logo.”
With her Welsh adventure behind her, Cubbon is already training in preparation for the coming AUS season.
Cubbon and the Varsity Reds open the AUS regular season on September 10th, at Cape Breton University.
UNB’s home opener is the following weekend, September 17th, when they host Memorial.
PHOTO COURTESY: Swansea City FC