Josh Heard has been named as Pacific FC’s club captain ahead of the 2023 Canadian Premier League season.
The Victoria-raised midfielder, 28, will be supported by a leadership team of Manny Aparicio, Amer Đidić, and Thomas Meilleur-Giguère.
“It’s a huge honour,” said Heard. “This is my home, this is my club, and every time I’m out there I wear the badge with serious pride so the fact that I’m now going to be captain and lead this team from the front is something I’m very proud of.”
Heard’s footballing journey is a testament to hard work, passion for the game and inherent talent. He was born in Cardiff, Wales but moved to Victoria when he was three years old. He played for Lakehill Soccer Association, and later Victoria Metro and Highlanders, as he came up through the local soccer system.
Heard was coached by Dave Ravenhill at the Centre for Soccer Excellence at Reynold’s Secondary. He went on to play college football with the University of Washington, before spending time in the United Soccer League with Bethlehem Steel FC, then the affiliate site of the Philadelphia Union, and Real Monarchs, the affiliate of Real Salt Lake. Heard went on loan the following year to Austrian third-tier side Pinzgau Saalfelden.
Since signing with him hometown club in July 2020, Heard has become an integral part of the squad, both on the field and off it, including playing a key role in earning the club its first Canadian Premier League (CPL) championship in 2021 and subsequently leading the squad on its first foray into Scotiabank Concacaf League play last year.
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In 66 games for the Tridents in all competitions, Heard has scored 14 goals and added nine assists, providing another dimension to Pacific’s attack with his pace and tenacity on the wings. His style of play is a perfect match to Pacific’s ability to create swift counter attacks.
Off the field, Heard sets an example for his teammates with his commitment not only to the game but to the club and to the community that surrounds it.
Heard takes over the role of captain from Canadian Jamar Dixon, now the Manager of Football and Player Development at Pacific, who wore the armband for two seasons before his retirement at the end of last year.
“In my opinion, what makes a great captain is someone who is easy to speak to and to approach,” said Dixon.
“Josh is a guy that comes to training and what you see there is what you see in the game. He doesn’t vary from that, there’s no difference in his training ability to his game ability. He holds himself to a high standard.”
Heard will be supported by a trio of accomplished CPL veterans in Aparicio, Đidić, and Meilleur-Giguère. Aparicio and Meilleur-Giguère were part of the 2021 title-winning team with Heard and Dixon.
“Josh leads by example in his daily approach to the craft,” said James Merriman, Head Coach, Pacific FC “He’s a top professional and holds the values of our club. He will be an excellent captain for our group going forward into the season.”