Mara McCleary joins VHFC Women’s program

VICTORIA, BC - The Victoria Highlanders FC women’s program have strengthened their defense with the addition of UNBC graduate Mara McLeary. 

A centre-back out of Stelly’s Secondary School, McCleary was named Best Defensive Player for four seasons with UNBC, while also collecting Player of the Year and Canada West Second Team All Star honours in the 2019-20 season. McCleary also had plenty of experience at the club level with the Vancouver Island Wave, including an Under-16 Sounders FC Cup victory in 2013. 

“Mara is an incredibly focused and conscientious individual,” commented Head Coach Neil Sedgwick. “She takes every opportunity to grow and Mara is comfortable in any environment, and in my opinion, she is one of the top defenders in Canada West graduating this year.”

Mara most recently has been playing with Lakehill FC of the Premier Division in the Lower Island Women’s Soccer League. 

“I’m really looking forward to the high performance aspect and training of playing with the Highlanders,” commented McLeary. “I feel as if it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to perform at my highest level with the pandemic and then being injured April 2021 with a ruptured achilles. I’ve been working hard ever since to get back on the field and I‘m hoping to use L1BC as a springboard to get me over to play in Europe as that was my original plan prior to my injury. I’m excited to be a part of the team and get back to winning ways.“