VANCOUVER ISLAND — Pacific FC recently announced the signing of Canadian forward José Hernández. The 18-year-old’s first professional contract fulfilled a lifelong dream of becoming a professional soccer player and taking another step in his soccer journey.
Reaching the professional level of soccer is a long arduous journey that requires sacrifice and hard work. The Edmonton-native understands this sacrifice more than most as he left his home province, family and friends at the age of 16 to pursue a professional career with no guarantee entailed.
“I think mostly, I had to be more responsible,” said Hernández.
Hernández learned quickly what it was like to live on his own. One of six siblings, the hardest part about leaving home as a teenager was leaving his family. The son of José and Candelaria, with four older brothers Giovani, Irvin, Edgar, Christian, and younger sister Kristy, José missed his family.
“The main reason it was hard, was coming from a big family, so everyone is close,” explained Hernández. “Breakfast, lunch and dinner, it’s always close, everyone is together as one, we’re all whole. Knowing that one person won’t be there, kind of separates everything. It doesn’t break down the family but something is missing.
“Eventually my family got used to it,” stated Hernández. “I missed my family, but I’m playing the game that I love, the sport I love.”
With the support of his family, Hernández made sure to make the most of his opportunity on Canada’s West Coast.
“My older brothers inspire me a lot because they didn’t really have the chance that I got,” stated Hernández. “Knowing that, really pushes me to try to be the best.”
José Hernández Sr., José’s father, grew up in Mexico where he played at a high level but due to opportunity was unable to play at the elite level.
“My dad he really is the biggest inspiration for me, for me he’s the biggest role model. When I look at famous soccer players, I look at them a lot, but for me (my greatest inspiration) it’s my dad. He’s the main guy, the go to guy to talk about something. If I have a problem I go to him, I need help with soccer I go to him.”
As Hernández looks forward to the 2019 season, he already has his eyes set on one fixture; Pacific FC will face Hernández’s former youth club in FC Edmonton this season.
“I’m very excited to go back and play,” stated Hernández. “It will be nice going back home, playing against friends and playing in front of family that has been supporting me my whole life. It’s going to be a dream come true. I’m looking forward to meeting the fans and the new players, I can’t wait.”
Hernández will be a welcome signing to the West Coast as he looks to develop and grow into an attacking role alongside Canadian international Marcus Haber.