NOTE: This story was originally posted on January 19, 2017
David Norman Jr. has Whitecaps FC in his blood.
On a personal level, it is very special to see David sign his first professional contract with the club as he takes another step forward in his career. It honestly doesn’t feel so long ago that I saw him as a smiling baby. I’m excited by what he has achieved so far and even more so by what’s still to come.
He’s been driven to play professionally for the club for as long as he can remember – that first kick of a toy soccer ball coming just after he could walk, and then starting youth soccer with Coquitlam Metro-Ford SC, a club founded by his grandfather. He’s been a ‘Caps supporter his whole life, fondly looking back on his earliest soccer memories watching the Blue and White play at Swangard Stadium.
His father, David Norman, played with the ‘Caps at BC Place in the 80s, and later with Vancouver 86ers at Swangard in the 90s. He is also one of only a handful of Canadians who can say that they represented this country at the FIFA World Cup, donning the Red and White during our lone tournament appearance at the 1986 edition in Mexico.
For myself and my own family, the Norman clan have had a big impact. The elder Norman (Jr.’s dad) – along with his father, David Norman Sr. (Jr.’s grandpa) – held their own soccer camps.
My siblings and I regularly attended, working on our soccer skills in a fun and challenging environment. For my sister Brittany, this extra work on the pitch played a big role in helping her achieve success in her career, going on to make more than 130 appearances for the Canadian women’s national team, playing in three World Cups, and winning a bronze medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics.
When we were kids, our family kept in touch with Norman during his 86er days. One of my fondest early soccer memories was going to an 86ers road match at Rochester Rhinos. David hooked us up with tickets.
When David Jr. was born, Britt babysat him and his older sister Rachel. She would kick a little soccer ball around with him as a toddler, and I remember her noting then that he had a natural instinct for the game. David Jr. and Rachel would also come watch Britt play for Canada, eagerly waiting to see her after games.
Through the years, it has been a pleasure to watch David Jr. wear the ‘Caps jersey. He started in the club’s soccer camps, moving on to Prospects, and then full-time Residency teams.
But now, it will be extra special to watch him start his professional career.
All the best to David, a hometown boy playing for his boyhood club.