REDS Land Liddle

(PHOTO: Andy Campbell/UNB Athletics)
(PHOTO: Andy Campbell/UNB Athletics)

(FREDERICTON, NB) Ella Liddle fills a need. In more ways than one.

The 17-year-old striker/wing, a product of the Fredericton District Soccer Association, has signed a U SPORTS Letter of Intent and will join the UNB REDS ahead of the 2023 Atlantic University Sport women’s soccer season.

“It fills a need, for sure,” said REDS head coach Jon Crossland. “We have some attacking players that are going to graduate, and she’s a dynamic player, she can make plays and score goals and she’s left-footed, so it checks a lot of boxes in our recruiting needs.”

“It’s really exciting,” said Liddle. “I’ve always wanted to be a RED. That was my goal, from U12, to make it up and play university soccer here. It’s going to be cool next year.”

Liddle, currently in her Grade 12 year at Fredericton High School, has played critical roles for FDSA Premiership teams for several years, including the past two at the U17 level. She was also a standout performer on FHS varsity teams.

“I had interest from other schools, but I’ve always wanted to come to UNB,” she said. “Seeing the girls play here, that really made me want to play with them. It’s what I’ve always known.”

Coach Crossland has had a front row seat for much of Liddle’s development.

“She’s scored goals or created goals for her teams, and that’s a big thing for us as we try to find players that will help us in the attack,” he said. “She’s been dedicated. She goes about her business, she’s hard-working. Everybody we’ve spoken to has good things to say about her. My experience coaching her, in our REDS programming, has always been positive.”

Liddle describes herself as a quiet player, but a player who is determined to impact every game.

“I try to always have confidence on the ball and make plays happen,” she said. “I want to become a great teammate here. Someone the girls can trust. When I’m on the ball, I want them to know I’ll be okay.”

Crossland says Liddle’s commitment is a victory for the REDS on the recruiting front and on the home front.

“It says the best players in Fredericton are able to come into a U SPORTS program and make an impact. For some of them, it’s immediate, for some, it can be longer term, but they can play at this level. It speaks to the development that’s going on in the FDSA. Deep down, we want kids to want to come and play at UNB. We want to see the work that they put in as they grow up pay off in reaching their goals and playing university sport at home.”

Just as Liddle is excited to join the REDS, Crossland is excited to see her join the team.

“We’re getting a good player and it’s another Fredericton player who’s come through programming and will now come here and showcase that over the next four of five years.”


STORY AND PHOTOS: Andy Campbell/UNB Athletics