Q & A with Nicholas Addlery

The Province Friday, April 11, 2008 The Vancouver Whitecaps' graceful new player Nicholas Addlery looks more like a rhythmic gymnast than a soccer player during team practice Thursday at Simon Fraser University. However, the new Jamaican recruit insists 'soccer's the most important sport.' The Vancouver Whitecaps' graceful new player Nicholas Addlery looks more like a rhythmic gymnast than a soccer player during team practice Thursday at Simon Fraser University. However, the new Jamaican recruit insists 'soccer's the most important sport.' Forward Nicholas Addlery can lay claim to the most unique route of any of the Vancouver Whitecaps' new additions. The 26-year-old Jamaican-born, Bronx-based striker took some time out from training for a Q&A with The Province's Marc Weber. Q: You've had an interesting path to get here, playing professionally in Trinidad and Tobago, and then Vietnam, before your stint in Major League Soccer. How were those international experiences both culturally and soccer-wise? A: Culturally, being Jamaican you're used to certain things, but you're always able to adjust. I like to pride myself on thinking I can thrive in any environment. Soccer-wise, sometimes it's a little bit difficult. Coaches are different, players are different, teams' cultures are different. That might be the most difficult part to adjust to. But life is always easy for me. It's the soccer part that comes hard. Q: You played for your country at the 2001 FIFA world youth championship and the Olympic qualifying tournament in 2004. Of course, the Reggae Boyz (senior national team) captured the world's imagination when they qualified for the 1998 World Cup. What was that experience like as a 17-year-old soccer player in Jamaica? A: Every day was good. Playing soccer was great because people were looking forward to the World Cup and would come out to see games no matter how small the game was, just because of the World Cup environment. I looked up to players like Peter Cargill and Onandi Lowe and Peter eventually became my national team coach with the U-23 team. Q: Tomas Boltnar, your former teammate from California University of Pennsylvania (Boltnar and Addlery are 1-2 in career goals and points at the school), has already had his own bobblehead night with the Des Moines Menace of the USL Premier Development League. Have you had a bobblehead anywhere? A: No. Not good enough. Q: You signed on with the Virginia Beach Mariners of the USL First Division in 2007, and the team folded due to ownership issues. You managed to get a trial with D.C. United and sign there, but was that a tough time for you? A: It was definitely a low point, but then you get an opportunity to go somewhere else and catch on, so you can't really complain. Everything happens for a reason and maybe that's why that happened for me. Q: In your best game with D.C. United, you scored a big goal and then set up a Brazilian named Fred, but not the Brazilian named Fred who plays for Lyon in France. Who are the best players you've been on the same pitch as? A: When I was younger, I spent a month in Benfica's youth system, so those are the best players I've played with. Guys like Nuno Gomes. Another player is (Jamaican youth national team teammate) Keith Kelly, who played at Paris St. Germain when Anelka was there and Ronaldinho was there. He's one of my close friends. Q: You come to the Whitecaps along with D.C. teammate Jay Nolly. What can fans expect out of him this year? A: Jay's top class. He's a very good goalkeeper and he comes to work every day. It's a tough fight they've got going on there in the goal. Q: How come you chose Vancouver -- and what do you think about the team so far? A: Firstly, the coaching staff was one of the reasons I came here. I feel like even though I'm 26, I still have a lot to learn and they have a lot to teach me. And the coach being a former goal scorer -- I definitely came here with the intention of learning from him. The team is more of a family atmosphere, a lot different from D.C. Q: Your new hometown is the Bronx, the birthplace of hip hop. But you're from Jamaica. So, rap or reggae, which is it? A: Na, both. Fifty-50 right now. Q: So, who are your favourite artists? A: In Jamaican music, Sizzla, Jah Cure and a guy named Movado. In hip hop it's definitely Nas and Lil Wayne. Q: Are you a Yankees fan? A: I don't watch baseball. I watch soccer and some basketball. That's it. Soccer's the most important sport.