FC Edmonton Academy graduate Shamit Shome has quickly adjusted to life as a professional  soccer player in the North American Soccer League (NASL) after spending a year with the University of Alberta (U of A) Golden Bears soccer program.

After graduating from the Eddies’ Academy, the 18-year old midfielder enrolled in the Engineering program at the U of A. Shome made the decision to challenge himself at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) level for the 2015 varsity season and was eventually crowned with the Canada West Rookie of the Year award.

“The CIS helped me get more games under my belt and it helped me get used to playing at a higher level,” Shome stated. “It was a good transition from the Academy, to CIS and then to the first team. The competition in the university level was good because you have a lot of big guys who like to use their bodies a lot.”

After spending a year with the U of A, the Edmonton product made the jump to the NASL and has made a string of impressive performances ever since. The jump to the professional level has posed many challenges for Shome, who is still enrolled in the Engineering program.

“At first it was tough getting used to the speed of play and the amount of communication required on the pitch,” Shome said. Those were things I found challenging at first because those things are critical to playing at this level. Also juggling school with soccer is difficult at times. I try to stay on top of things and get my school work done early. It’s tough to manage, but I know if I put my mind into it that I can do it.”

Despite trying to juggle both his soccer career and education, Shome continues to impress on the pitch. Following an injury to Eddies’ midfielder Cristian Raudales, the U-20 Canadian international seized his chance when called upon and has been a consistent figure in Eddies’ head coach Colin Miller’s squad. The young talent has started in 10 matches so far this season and featured in a total of 13 overall, while maintaining an impressive 82 percent pass completion rate.

“I didn’t expect to play this much in my first season to be honest,” Shome admitted. “But the guys have been great they have helped me out a lot in training sessions and during games. The coaching staff have shown a lot of support and trust in my game—it has helped me become a better player. I just hope I can continue to play, whether it’s as a starter or off the bench, I just want to be on the pitch and help our club continue to grow.”

Shome is surrounded by Eddies players with a wealth of playing experience, including Canadian international Nik Ledgerwood, Salvadorian international Dustin Corea and seasoned Eddies veteran Daryl Fordyce. Shome is striving to learn what he can from his teammates as he progresses in his young career.

“It’s great to be surrounded by these types of players, they have been really supportive,” Shome concluded. “It’s nice to play with players who have been all over Europe because that’s where I want to be. To be able to take their knowledge and experience and try to apply it to my game has allowed me to become a better player. We are really pushing for a playoff spot and to be surrounded by this much experience makes it easier for me to play my games as well.”

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