New experiences. New countries.
Nick Christoffersen of Penn men's soccer spent his winter break in a different country. The Toronto, Ont. native spent the three months from December to February in Denmark, training with the Danish 1st Division soccer club, HB Køge.
In the sophomore goalkeeper's first season with the Quakers, he started in two games, notching a record of 1-1 and recording 2 saves.
Before arriving in Philadelphia, Christoffersen was a member of the Toronto FC Academy. He was U21 Provincial Central Champion in 2017, going undefeated for 16 games.
Part of his motivation to travel to Denmark this past winter was his inability to train in Toronto because of COVID-19 measures. “I decided to because we weren’t allowed to train indoors in Toronto anymore due to COVID restrictions, and because I was able to see my family in Denmark that I haven’t been able to see in two years,” Christoffersen said.
The Danish 1st Division is the second-highest soccer league in Denmark, and Christoffersen jumped on the opportunity to train with HB Køge while visiting family.
“I was able to train with a first division team called HB Køge, that was 40 minutes away from where my family lived,” Christoffersen said. “Being able to train there helped me tons, because it challenged me with a lot of different training styles.”
The sophomore hopes that his time in Denmark will help him in University City with the Quakers when they get an opportunity to play again. His experience helped him gain confidence, a trait that is especially important for a goalkeeper.
“I think that is provided me with a lot of confidence that I was lacking my freshman year and for the goalkeeper position, it’s one of the more important attributes,” Christoffersen said.
He is extremely grateful for the opportunity that he had playing over in Denmark, because many other players did not have the chance to play without the restrictions that he had.
“Other than that, I was in an environment that demanded a lot of me and given the restrictions were being faced with, not everyone has that luxury,” Christoffersen said.
Apart from soccer, he was able to meet family members that he had never met before, like his 1-year-old cousin.
While Penn men's soccer is not playing games right now, expect Christoffersen’s time playing in Denmark to be crucial to his development in the net for the Red and Blue.