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18-Year-Old Signs Semi-Pro Contract

Published Wednesday 13th of September 2017 05:02 PM

Congratulations on signing with London Rangers! How are you feeling?

Very thankful and appreciative! My parents are also happy because I’ll get an education too, but I think it’s a blessing. God has answered my prayers and I’m very lucky. I think it’s anyone’s dream to train 4-5 times a week and this is an amazing opportunity for me. It’s so much better than anything I expected.

 

So, what happened after your UK Football Trial?

I did 2 UK Football Trials, one in July and one in August. About 2-3 weeks after my July trial the scout called me and invited me down to the club where I had a trial and they then they told me they’d like me to sign.

 

What’s a normal week at the club?

We train 1pm - 3.30pm four days a week, with matches for the academy on Wednesdays and games for the older groups on Saturdays. I’m still waiting for clearance to play for the older age group but I’m playing against Pro Direct Academy next week when the season starts.

 

Is this your first time at an academy?

This is the first time I’ve done anything like this. I’ve just moved here from South Africa because I’ve got UK citizenship which meant I was able to and I’m currently living alone in England. Back home I was playing in the reserve team of an amateur club since I was at since I was 8. I decided to come here to give it a shot and thankfully this has happened.

 

What training do you do away from the club?

I go to the gym at least three times a week, focused on legs and my core. I also do individual training sessions at the parks next to my house, practicing free kicks probably three times a week as well.

 

What do you think impressed the scouts at our trial?

I don’t know really, I definitely wasn’t the best player there but I gave my all and I think you could see that. I think you have to communicate with these guys that you’ve only known for a couple of hours and I did that. I had quite a good game, everyone wants to showcase themselves so you have to do that but be able to play as part of a team.

 

Was there anything that you feel you learnt at our trial?

England is very competitive but you have to be one step ahead all the time, so I think my vision in the training and my understanding of how football is played here helped a lot.

 

And is there anything you think you need to improve in your game?

Definitely the physical side, I only weigh about 60kg so if I want to become pro I need to get stronger. I need to improve my left foot too, I have been working in training but it’s still nowhere near where my right foot is. I’d probably say my decision making and my mentality too – I was intimated at my trial because everyone was bigger than me but you have to have that winning mentality.

 

So what’s your next step from here?

My plan is to earn a pro contract somehow! Just keep working hard and maybe in one of these academy games someone will see that I really have a hunger and determination for this game.

 

And finally, would you have any advice for other players coming to our trials?

Always have a positive attitude – everyone’s going to make a mistake and no one will have a perfect match. Just enjoy the training, it will make you better. Also you’ve got to put the hours in when you’re not at a club, you have to dedicate your life to it, if you want it bad enough then you can get it.