VANCOUVER, BC –When the Whitecaps announced that English Premier League club Manchester City will visit Empire Field this summer as part of the World Football Challenge, many people in Vancouver were of very excited. One person, though, was a little more enthusiastic than the rest.
Terry Dunfield will have an opportunity to face some old friends when the Sky Blues come knocking, as the Whitecaps alternate captain spent four years playing with Man. City during his youth.
“It’s come out of the blue, it’s pretty incredible,” said Dunfield. “I still keep in touch with Shaun Wright-Phillips; Joe Hart, the goalkeeper; and Micah Richards, who was in the youth team when I was there.”
Joining City at the age of 15, Dunfield enjoyed a great deal of early success. In the 2000-01 season, he was honored as the club’s Youth Player of the Year and made his debut for the first team on the last day of the English Premier League season that year against Chelsea FC.
Since Dunfield’s time there, Man. City have grown even more, becoming one of the wealthiest clubs in the world and loading their roster with incredible talent.
“First of all, it’s a credit to [Whitecaps FC] to attract such a phenomenal team,” said Dunfield. “It’s a good opportunity for our players to test themselves against world-class players.”
After leaving Man. City following a coaching change, Dunfield wandered between several lower-tier clubs throughout England. After experiencing a number of highs and lows, the Vancouver native has risen again, playing an integral role for his hometown club.
Now 29, Dunfield has turned a new chapter since his days in Manchester, but with a match against the club where his career first started, he’s excited to have another read.
“It’s going to be a special day and it’ll be an honor to play against them,” said Dunfield. “I’m going to have a smile on my face the whole game.”