From former player to assistant coach
Mya Fraser (She/Her) // Sports Editor
Noureen Elsayed (She/Her) // Illustrator
Andrea Standerwick has been an assistant coach for the Capilano Blues women’s soccer team for seven seasons now. After being a standout player on the women’s team herself from 2013 to 2015, she has nearly been a part of the program ever since. The center defender was named a PACWEST all-star and the team’s most valuable player in both her seasons.
Her soccer journey started in her backyard, playing soccer with her brothers. Throughout her high school years, she played on the metro team and the provincial team, which were the highest levels at the time. She didn’t plan on playing university soccer; she attended CapU to take some general studies courses to help with her job. Her friend, Darren Rath, happened to be coaching the team at the time. Upon finding out she was attending the school, he asked her to play for the team.
Standerwick admits, “My favorite part about playing was coming back later in life to play. It was a lot of fun getting to compete against players 10 plus years younger than me and being the oldest player in the league.”
She started as an assistant coach back in 2017, two years following her time on the team. Head coach, Dennis Kindel, simply called her up and asked if she would be interested in being a part of the coaching staff at CapU. She reflects on that time, mentioning her excitement for the opportunity to coach at this level, and alongside a friend of hers. She said yes and has been with the team ever since.
Her main responsibilities include supporting the head coach, Kindel, and supporting the players, giving them advice when needed or providing feedback. She’s an extra set of eyes and ears for the team. Sometimes her responsibilities include implementing training plans, and she enjoys being able to challenge players and have them think outside their comfort zone by bringing new ideas to training sessions.
Her coaching philosophies stem less from the tactical aspect and focus more on who the players are. She’s all about accepting every individual as they are. That means being inclusive to everyone and making sure everyone feels like part of the team. She explains, “Everyone is here to play, and I want to help best support them and make sure they are included amongst the team.”
When it comes to keeping players motivated, she emphasizes having fun with the team while keeping training light, but competitive is key. “I’ve noticed most players are not motivated by being yelled at, and at CapU we work hard and joke around at the same time. I think that works best for our team.” She also mentions that she loves being able to join in and play with the players in training as much as she can. “I’m competitive so it’s fun to go against the players and push them to work harder. It also allows me to coach within the moment.”
When asked about something she enjoys most about coaching, she expressed, “Watching the players grow as players and individuals over the years that they are here playing, and knowing I had a little part in that growth.” This year especially, she is at a point where she was here coaching the graduating seniors in their rookie year. On being a part of their full post-secondary soccer experience, she says it’s both exciting and sad.
The soccer team is lucky to have a positive female role model supporting them both on and off the field. What sets her apart is the expertise she brings from her own student-athlete experience at CapU, not to mention the incredible athlete she was. She’s always been committed to the team, and now she’s helping the program continue to grow.