Mohammad (Moe) Golmakani is a third-year student who has been a part of the UTM soccer community since his first year. He is majoring in CCIT and aims to do minors in “creative writing and political sciences.”

Golmakani has had a passion for soccer ever since he was a child. He tells of his time in Iran where he used to play soccer in the streets with his cousins. This is the root of his inspiration. Iran, its culture, and Golmakani’s cousins all inspire him to pursue his passion as a soccer player. He may not play on the team once he graduates but, he intends to keep up his passion by opening a school that will allow students to play soccer and any other sport they want to take their minds off things.

Golmakani has been playing soccer for more than five years now. He used to play at a club called East York and was also a part of his high school team at Jarvis Collegiate Institute in Toronto. Golmakani says he plays “for the love of the game.”

In university, Golmakani played in his first year and third year. Unfortunately, he could not play games last year as his grades did not meet the eligibility criteria for team players. He admits that it can become really difficult to create a balance between studies and sports. He encourages everyone to remember that they have “to be students before athletes.”

Last year Golmakani says he had “thoughts of quitting everything” but, he didn’t. He wasn’t allowed on the field but he was allowed to practice with the team and he made use of this. He continued to practice regularly and he also increased focus on his studies. He is now back on the team and is performing even better than before. Golmakani says “all the time off the team has helped him improve and made him a better player and a better student.”

Golmakani encourages his teammates as well. He advises them to continue playing and focus on studies. This is especially for the players who can’t play this year due to similar reasons as him. Golmakani encourages them to “keep trying and never give up.” He tells them that they will recover from all this stress and depression that they may be experiencing. And he extends this advice to his fellow students: “if things are looking down, don’t worry. They will get better. So, don’t give up and just try harder.”

Golmakani practices on his own every day. He also has team practices four times a week. He doesn’t allow anything to get him down. Even if there is a conflict arising on the field during a game, he avoids it by joking around. The jokes are meant to lighten the mood and ease off any anger any player might be experiencing. The jokes aren’t mean either or insulting to the other players. Although, Golmakani admits “it can distract the other guys” and help him and his team score.

Golmakani follows a set routine before every game. He has “a really good dinner” the night before, gets plenty of sleep, and listens to the same playlist of songs every time before a game. They help him remain calm and focused.

During a game, Golmakani never feels nervous or scared. He always feels thrilled and “happy to have the opportunity.” He says, “just understanding about the opportunity I have, gives me the feeling that this is once in a lifetime opportunity.” This prompts him to focus on having fun and give his team “120 per cent.”

When Golmakani or his teammates score a goal, he says the credit never just goes to one person. They have to realize that “there are ten other guys on the pitch that make the goal happen” so, no one ever takes the full credit for scoring. He says everyone deserves to shine, not just one person. Through this, they promote positivity and teamwork. He also says, scoring a goal for UTM is always a big achievement.

When the topic of losing came up, Golmakani stated they actually just lost a game on September 12th. Losing can be real tough on the whole team. Golmakani said the whole team was sitting in the room with their heads down. Coach Chris Eveleigh came in and “gave a lot of positivity” and prompted everyone to lift their heads. The other coaches, Gio Humilium and Corey Baker also encouraged the team to remain strong as the season has just started and they have many more chances to bring back the victory.

In the end, Golmakani encourages everyone to stay strong and shares the coaches’ advice: “there will be many chances to fix everything.” He points out all the help you can get on campus: accessibility, RGSC center, and a variety of other places. Golmakani says, “there are people who care about you; you just have to show them hard work… [so] never give up and just try harder.”