Jefferson Hagen, MacEwan Athletics
EDMONTON – With the MacEwan Griffins men's soccer goal cage wide open following the graduation of 2019 starter Seth Johnstone, head coach Adam Loga announced Wednesday that promising goalkeeper William Tonning has committed to the program for the 2020 Canada West campaign.
Tonning is transferring to MacEwan from Brandon University where he led the Bobcats to the Manitoba Colleges Athletics Conference championship last fall.
The product of Slagelse, Denmark – who holds dual citizenship because his mother is Canadian – was named Brandon University's athlete of the month for September, won the MCAC goalkeeper of the year award and was also a MCAC athlete of the week.
"He's a great shot stopper," said Loga. "He's well-travelled – he brings some international experience outside the game here in Canada – and has a level of maturity, leaving home at a young age, which will help both on the pitch and in the locker-room.
"He's got an opportunity with starting keeper Seth moving on and graduating," he added. "The sticks are open. The net's open, so with him and Simon (Dawe) and Mason (Perras), they'll have a friendly competition – a good battle – to see who gets the minutes."
Described as quiet and reserved off the field, when Tonning got on the pitch for the Brandon Bobcats this past season, he brought an unmatched intensity and fire, inspiring his teammates to finish with a 10-1-1 record.
"They were very successful as a program," said Loga "He's just very calm, cool and collected back there. Again, just a good distributor, great shot blocker and he has good size – 6-foot-2. He just seems very well-rounded and has been trained very well to this point.
"We had our goalkeeper coach break down quite a bit of film on him before signing him and bringing him in. I don't speak goalkeeper that fluently, but our goalkeeper coach does, and he gave the green light."
Tonning grew up playing in Denmark – last suiting up in the Danish second division at the U19 level. In the recruiting process, he received a phone call from current Griffins player Liam Creek, who also played in Denmark.
"They have that common connection of playing footie over there," noted Loga. "He and Creek kind of hit it off a little bit as well. It looks positive. I think the Griffins will be a good fit for him."