By Nolan Kowal, Sport Performance Specialist

By Tara Funke

He’s 6’1” tall, weighs 200 lbs and is 100% determined to help Valour FC in the 2020 season.

Manitoba’s own Tyson Farago grew up playing soccer in Winnipeg and has made his dream of playing professional football a reality. It has taken a lot of heart and hard work to get here but at 28-years-old he’s proud to be competing on the pitch in front of a hometown crowd. We recently had the opportunity to learn more about the man who wears #1.

Taking to the pitch at Investors Group Field as a member of Valour FC in their inaugural season was an exciting time for Winnipeg native Tyson Farago. The goalkeeper says the vibe for the home opener was excellent and at times emotional. There were more than 9,600 fans in attendance for that match, and home games on average drew almost 5,500.

“To be honest we had a talent ridden team and I feel we under achieved a bit,” Farago said following the fall season. He adds that while the goal was to have better overall results, it was still a great learning experience and it was a pleasure to be part of the leadership team.

When asked to describe himself as a player this is what came to mind for Farago:

“Gritty and willing to grind until the very last second of the game.”

After a match he is physically and mentally spent and off the field he’s committed to lifting up his players. One of his unique team roles has been to help climatize some of the players who are new to our province. He has played a part in getting them around, introducing them to city favourites, and making them feel at home. Being an ambassador is something he has enjoyed.

The goalkeeper grew up playing soccer in Winnipeg and was proud to be a member of Team Manitoba at the 2007 Western Canada Summer Games and the 2009 Canada Summer Games. The multi-sport games were very interesting to Farago as he enjoyed the unique atmosphere that encouraged mingling with all the other athletes.

To this day the opening and closing ceremonies remain highlights. When reflecting on that time he’s thankful for Pedro Daza who was his provincial coach. Daza allowed him the freedom to play his own game and provided an opportunity for Farago to develop. Daza was a great influence and they are still in contact regularly, even doing goaltending clinics together.

Over the past 10 years Farago has experienced a lot within the game and the sports world. His never quit attitude is quite strong and has come into play a number of times. He has had to follow his dream wherever that lead him, including university, Edmonton, overseas, and now Winnipeg. The roller coaster of experiences has made him focus on putting his best foot forward.

If you’re a fan and have seen him on the field you may have noticed part of his pre-game ritual. He’s not too wild when it comes to superstitions but before kick off, you’ll notice he does do two jumps to his right and his left.

Farago explains there’s no pre-game favourite meal or anything but he has recently switched to a plant-based diet. During the season he limits his sugar and fat intake to maintain his conditioning but now that it’s the off season we may just catch him enjoying a favourite holiday treat.

Farago is resting in order to heal up before transitioning to spring training and tells us he’s going to reboot his system to come back hungry and stronger for the 2020 season. He wants to go for all the marbles and claim a title and is excited to be in front of the Manitoba fans in his Valour FC uniform.