Mary Beth Bowie may not be getting any younger, but the players around her certainly are.
The veteran Dartmouth soccer standout has a new home in the Nova Scotia Soccer League EastLink Premiership after longtime powerhouse Halifax Athens folded in the off-season.
She joins defending champion Halifax City Quincy’s, a young team that dethroned her experienced Athens club in a changing of the guard during last year’s provincial final.
The 29-year-old striker -- a perennial all-star with multiple MVP and Golden Boot awards -- expects to take a backseat as more of a playmaker than a goal-scorer.
“The younger girls are going to be more fit and have more energy than me, so you have to play the game smarter,” she said. “You’re forced to (take a backseat). Whether I’d like to or not, I’ll be passing the ball more than dribbling it.”
Bowie will be handing off to teenage sensations Nkem Ezurike and Eunnie Kim with Quincy’s, a team so deep and skilled that reigning Golden Boot winner Katie Prowse of Halifax could shift to the back as a defender this summer. The high-scoring Ezurike is a member of the Canadian under-17 team, while Kim has blazing speed that few can match.
Not surprisingly, head coach Carl Hayre said his team will play an “attacking style” that he hopes will yield plenty of goals.
Prowse, who plays at St. Francis Xavier during the school year, has long looked up to Bowie, a former member of the national team. She’s looking forward to having her in the lineup.
“We have so many young players so it’s good to have someone with so much experience,” Prowse said. “Everyone knows she’s a really good player. She’s a great leader and she’s always really intense in practice. It makes everyone better.”
The Premiership season opens Sunday in New Glasgow.