CSUB’s Eric Whelan signs professional soccer deal


BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — California State University, Bakersfield’s Eric Whelan has signed with the Goulburn Valley Suns Football Club (GV Suns) based out of Shepparton, Victoria, Australia.

Whelan will join the GV Suns who are in the Victorian National Premier League (NPL Victoria), the second most professional league in Australia and falls just below the A-League, the highest professional men’s soccer league in Australia and New Zealand that a player can reach.

Whelan plays as a defender for Roadrunners men’s soccer team. He joined this last season to finish out his third Master’s degree at CSUB. Before coming to CSUB to join the Big West Conference, Whelan earned master’s degrees from both the University of Dublin and Dublin City University, while also playing three years of collegiate soccer in Ireland.

The future GV Sun came to CSUB to play competitively and build his existing skills.

“The standard of training and the infrastructure allowed me the chance to focus, work hard, recover properly and perform consistently,” Whelan said. “The atmosphere within the team and the people who surrounded me helped me stay on track and be consistent with the process.”

Whelan started in all 17 games in the season and totaled 1,494 minutes of play time.

Head Coach Richie Grant said Whelan signing with the GV Suns shows just how dedicated he is to the game.

“We’re delighted for Eric and this contract is a testament to his hard work and determination,” Grant said. “He improved with every game this season and took full advantage of playing and developing in the Big West Conference.”

Whelan said he is excited to get to continue playing soccer at such a high level and continue using his education to build a career down in Australia.

“Signing with Goulburn Valley Suns allows me to keep playing football at an excellent level, to keep testing myself and improving, and to see a new part of the world,” Whelan said. “I’ll also get to work part-time in a psychological service in Shepperton which will be a great opportunity alongside football.”

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