‘Getting to Know’ is a new weekly Q&A feature at ufvcascades.ca where we fire a series of random questions at a Cascades athlete. Some of the questions are serious, some not so much. In the crosshairs this week is Connor MacMillan, a fourth-year midfielder with the men’s soccer team.
I asked Tom Lowndes, your head coach, to tell me a little bit about you, and he said you have a comment for every situation, always chirping. Is that the case?
“Yeah, I guess so. He’s a younger coach, and we all respect him. But him and (assistant coach) Mike (Newton), there a lot of joking around with them. We know when it’s game time, we’ve got to focus. But it’s nice being able to joke around with them. It keeps it light.”
If you’re a guy who likes to chirp, I imagine you might do a little bit of talking on the pitch. What’s the best line you’ve heard playing soccer?
“It’s usually once a goal or a tackle has happened – something to start it. Say there’s a tackle and you (subsequently) score, then it’s easier to beak the other team.
“Against UBC, one of their guys was saying all game, ‘Get on my level.’ We’re playing the same level as you! He was saying it to every player on the field, for no reason. He’s going and tackling guys, and saying to us, ‘Get on my level.’ We’re like, ‘OK, you’re tackling us cheaply, and then you tell us that?’ It was hilarious, it was actually funny. That was just last week.”
You’re from Chilliwack. What’s something you can get in Chilliwack that you can’t get anywhere else?
“There’s a ton to do outdoors. You’ve got Othello Caves right near you, you’ve got Elk Mountain, Cheam, the Fraser River. There’s a lot of outdoor stuff, which is nice. I love being outdoors . . . I moved there when I was seven years old (from Coquitlam), so I’ve always been able to be outside.”
What’s the proudest moment from your youth soccer career?
“When I was really young, we had an undefeated season – first-year rep. That felt really good. But I’d say my last year of youth, winning (U18) provincials probably felt the best. It was just a good way to end it off.”
What product would you choose to endorse if given the opportunity?
“Anyone? Oh wow. One of the coolest things would be Adidas. I love Adidas. I love Messi, I love Barcelona, and I’ve seen Messi do all those Adidas commercials. Any sports commercial would be cool, but mainly Adidas. That would be a dream.”
Tell me a little bit about your teammates. Who’s got the worst fashion sense on this Cascades men’s soccer team?
“Worst fashion sense? Everyone’s pretty into it. (Long pause). I’ll say Mason Thompson. He’s so worried about it. If we’re going to hang out or anything, he’ll be asking us for opinions for 20 minutes on what he should wear. It’s funny. You want him to look good, obviously, but usually I’ll pick the thing that makes him look less fashionable just to screw around with him. Even if it’s not ‘worst fashion sense,’ he’s so worried about it!”
You’re about to hit the road to Prince George to play UNBC this weekend. Give me a sense of what it’s like to be on the road with the UFV men’s soccer team.
“I love it. We try to hang out as much as we can as a team. There’s always little groups, but the thing with the team this year is, I feel like we’re a lot more of a team. There’s only one fifth-year (Colton O’Neill), there’s a few fourth-years, it’s really spread out. So I feel like we can’t really separate in terms of hanging around or getting along with each other, which is good. When we’re on the bus, it’s all mixed up – anyone’s with anyone. In the (hotel) rooms, it doesn’t matter who you’re with, it’s a good time.
“We joke around until game day, and then we’re obviously focused. When we win, we celebrate . . . it brings up the whole enthusiasm of the team.”
Let’s talk music. Is there a track you absolutely have to listen to before a game?
Bonfire by Childish Gambino. I have to. I know everyone’s different, but I feel like I play better when I’m mad. . . . I know some people play better when they’re calm, but I feel like I play better when I’m really getting going. That song, he’s got an angry voice. That’s why I like it.”
Which song on your phone do you hope your teammates never find out about?
“Do you know that movie, the new National Lampoon’s Vacation? With that guy from The Office (Ed Helms)? What’s the song in it? I had it on my phone as a joke, but they found it, and obviously it looked pretty weird that I had it. (Sings a few bars)
Oh, that’s Kiss from a Rose. By Seal.
“Yeah! They’re going through my phone, playing music in my car, and this comes on! They’re like, ‘What the heck is that?’”
Be honest – was it really on there as a joke?
“Yeah. Me and my little brother, we were laughing at that scene in the movie. I add songs he likes on my phone. I also have Shell Shocked from the Ninja Turtles movie. It’s with Wiz Khalifa, but it’s still kind of childish. I don’t care. They can find it if they want.”