Caleb Clarke: A Matter of Minutes

On the 15 August 2012, Kenny Miller was substituted for Caleb Clarke. He played the last ten minutes against Dallas in a losing cause, but long after the score line is forgotten, the moment for this young man will live on.

"It was great, just having the whole crowd. I mean some people say they’re nervous, but I really enjoyed it, coming on, and showing it on the big stage. It was great."

49 days later, he would repeat the feat, this time coming on for the final seven minutes against Chivas. That score line, 4-0, won’t soon be forgotten. These two matches, that 17 minutes, represented the entirety of his 2012 season.

At 19 years of age, Clarke understands his role in the squad, and is there to learn, especially from the veterans on the team.

Caleb Clarke takes a run at the CD Chivas goal at BC Place on 3 October 2012.

"They help a lot, it’s great having the older players around because they’re so experienced, they’ve been at really high levels, Y.P., Kenny, Andy, all of them, and I think there’s a lot to learn. I learn new things from them every day, just by watching them and asking them questions."

But it can be tough, being a young player trying to break into the squad. Playing time comes at a premium and last season he had an injury curtailed loan spell in Germany, which wasn’t the first time he had headed over to Europe.

"When I was 16, I went over there; I was at Udinese for a while. It was a great experience and I really liked it there."

It was a fine first experience, but not all loans go as planned, like his trial at FC Rot-Weiß Erfurt.

"That one didn’t work out, but it was just another opportunity to learn, gain a little more experience, and try to get some playing time."

Still, he remains upbeat and positive, with several moments already that he cherishes.

Caleb Clarke sports a shorter hair cut at Burnaby 8 Rinks on 28 January 2013.

"I think there’s a couple. First national team goals," plural, not singular, as the song goes, Caleb Clarke, superstar, how many goals have you scored so far, "first professional contract, first professional game, I’ll remember those kinds of moments for a long time."

Looking to future, he hopes to "do as good as I can to help the team, and also the national team too. We have qualifying coming up, so that’s really important also."

But once again, the most "important thing is playing time. FC Edmonton has a pretty good team, so a loan deal could be a possibility, but we’ll see."