Victora Highlanders have announced the signings of midfielder Thomas Shores, defender Gordon Hall, forward Chris Rushworth, pending ITC clearance, and goalkeeper Nolan Wirth. The four players bring Victoria’s roster to 21 players ahead of the 2018 Premier Development League (PDL) season.
Shores joins the Highlanders following a successful season across the border with NCAA Division 1 side, James Madison University. The Edmonton native developed his trade with FC Edmonton representing Alberta 6 times nationally. In his final year of high school Shores was called up to Canada Men’s U18 squad playing four games with one assist.
Arriving in Virgina at James Madison University, Shores won Rookie of the Year and now as Captain in his third year he looks forward to growing in the PDL. “I think a new coach, new kits and new owners signals revitalization and a renewed ambition to represent Victoria with pride and success on the pitch.”
Shores added, “Coach Niendorf has a tremendous reputation and I am sure all of the players will be rearing to play their best and in turn represent Victoria to the best of their abilities.”
Joining Shores is defender Gordon Hall from the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC). Hall signs with the Highlanders following two seasons with PDL side FC Tucson in Arizona. Coming off his fourth season with the UNBC Timberwolves, Hall looks ahead to the season.
“I am very excited to be coming to Victoria this summer. From what I’ve heard it is a beautiful place and the soccer environment is great. Thomas has a lot of knowledge of the game, helping us develop along with allowing us to compete within the league.”
Forward Chris Rushworth joins the squad having played for the Highlanders in 2016. The Cranbrook native developed his trade in the famed Leeds United Academy before moving back to Canada. Coming off his fourth year with the University of Lethbridge, Rushworth comes to Victoria with Canada West All-Star honours and as the top goalscorer in U of L’s history.
“I played with the Highlanders two years ago and loved my first summer in Victoria, it’s a great city, great team with great support. Last summer I stayed close to home and played in Calgary for the Foothills,” Rushworth added, “I am excited to be returning to Victoria again. We have made some great signings and have even more on the way, so I’m excited to get started.”
Also joining the squad is former Highlanders goalkeeper, Nolan Wirth. The Comox, BC native rejoins the Highlanders following a time with Didier Drogba’s USL side Phoenix Rising. Developing his trade in the Vancouver Whitecaps Residency and at Oregon State University(OSU) for three seasons, Wirth looks forward to the 2018 season with the Highlanders.
“From what I’ve learned and after meeting with Thomas I know that he will be a great asset for the club and with the new ownership, it is setting us up to be successful as a club moving forward, which will only help grow the soccer community here in Victoria.”