Pro Career in Limbo for Former UWS Soccer Star Eric Watson
Watson was set to make his debut when the league he was playing in cancelled their entire season.
THUNDER BAY, Ont. – After graduating from UWS back in December and wrapping up his career as the program’s all-time leading scorer, Eric Watson went across the pond to begin his quest to play professional soccer. Unfortunately, his journey hit a major bump in the road with the coronavirus pandemic.
Back in March, Watson was in England after signing with Glossop North End in the Northern Premier League. But just the day before he was set to make his debut, the league cancelled the rest of the season.
“I won’t lie. It was pretty heart-breaking to be one day away from making that next big jump up and having that opportunity to make an impression for myself, make an impression for the program I had just left, my family and everybody. And to have that, I don’t want to say taken away because it’s just circumstances, but to have that changed, it was difficult to take,” Watson said.
The Thunder Bay native would then return home, uncertain about what his future holds.
“I was thrilled to be starting this next adventure and this next journey which I had always kind of had in the back of my mind. I’ve struggled with the fact that within two weeks, it was kind of all stopped and there’s no real timeline as to when that can start back up again,” said Watson.
Watson says the coronavirus pandemic has certainly made him re-think the possibility of going back to his club in England.
“If it’s years, then you as an individual have to start thinking about if there’s going to be an opportunity to get back in. Two years playing without other people is a long time. And I don’t just mean for myself, but for anybody in that position, it’s a long time,” Watson said.
But for now, he prefers to keep a positive mindset and stick to his daily routine.
“I’m someone who finds an enormous amount of joy in the process of bettering themselves so continue to train for me has been an absolute godsend. A huge one I think everybody is realizing in this is that no matter the distance, you can always rely on your friends. I think reaching out to those people, near or far. Being able to connect with those that mean the most to you and that have been there for you in the past has been something that I’ve definitely leaned on heavily,” said Watson.