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Author Topic: Foreign-based College Players Thread  (Read 80633 times)

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Offline lefty

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Re: Foreign-based College Players Thread
« Reply #450 on: February 27, 2020, 03:48:40 PM »
I've said that for years - the pace of the game is too slow and it stood out for me watching local games v the English game at all levels. The technical ability was there for sure.

has our game always been slow or did it creep in, the 2001/2 warriors was us at our peek, even if the wheels fell off and I have good memories of dat team, but the rut set in from there onward, that the 06' warriors made WC was nothing short of miraculous and an underdog story for the ages, I once drew comparison between the coup and the seeming drying up of "natural" talents comparable to yorke, Latapy and such the like thereafter.
I pity the fool....

Offline maxg

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Re: Foreign-based College Players Thread
« Reply #451 on: February 27, 2020, 04:13:06 PM »
I've said that for years - the pace of the game is too slow and it stood out for me watching local games v the English game at all levels. The technical ability was there for sure.

has our game always been slow or did it creep in, the 2001/2 warriors was us at our peek, even if the wheels fell off and I have good memories of dat team, but the rut set in from there onward, that the 06' warriors made WC was nothing short of miraculous and an underdog story for the ages, I once drew comparison between the coup and the seeming drying up of "natural" talents comparable to yorke, Latapy and such the like thereafter.
Talking about slow, did anyone see the Saprissa v Impact game last night ? Aubrey David game ? Thoughts ! I think pace is a deceptive  issue when a team is able to control properly , hold formation and make accurate passes. Opposing players closed down, no panic by offensive player, just a casual knock to the open offensive support. That's technical ability. What we have a talent, what we don't have is football technical ability. What that game lacked was creativity and offensive aggression. Yet one must consider Impact seemed to play for the tie, still their goalie had to make 2 crucial saves. That's his job and he did it well. What pace did Aubrey have to display ? None, imo. He ALWAYS had support.

Offline lefty

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Re: Foreign-based College Players Thread
« Reply #452 on: February 27, 2020, 04:46:19 PM »
I've said that for years - the pace of the game is too slow and it stood out for me watching local games v the English game at all levels. The technical ability was there for sure.

has our game always been slow or did it creep in, the 2001/2 warriors was us at our peek, even if the wheels fell off and I have good memories of dat team, but the rut set in from there onward, that the 06' warriors made WC was nothing short of miraculous and an underdog story for the ages, I once drew comparison between the coup and the seeming drying up of "natural" talents comparable to yorke, Latapy and such the like thereafter.
Talking about slow, did anyone see the Saprissa v Impact game last night ? Aubrey David game ? Thoughts ! I think pace is a deceptive  issue when a team is able to control properly , hold formation and make accurate passes. Opposing players closed down, no panic by offensive player, just a casual knock to the open offensive support. That's technical ability. What we have a talent, what we don't have is football technical ability. What that game lacked was creativity and offensive aggression. Yet one must consider Impact seemed to play for the tie, still their goalie had to make 2 crucial saves. That's his job and he did it well. What pace did Aubrey have to display ? None, imo. He ALWAYS had support.
but maxg, what about speed of thought and the speed of action based on said thought, our collective game is slow, in ah local game yuh would see ah man take 5-6 touch while spinning seemingly not knowing what he going and do next similarly his teammates would be static standing next to or behind ah play within "interceptive"  range with not even a thought to signal ah free channel or shift positions to open ah channel, I not talking about foot speed in isolation, we have god given learning computers in we head dat we getting less and less adept at using, seemingly with every advance in tech.... :cursing: many of our kids these day lack pure reasoning skills in most disciplines outside figuring out touch tech and social media
I pity the fool....

Offline maxg

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Re: Foreign-based College Players Thread
« Reply #453 on: February 27, 2020, 05:52:28 PM »
I've said that for years - the pace of the game is too slow and it stood out for me watching local games v the English game at all levels. The technical ability was there for sure.

has our game always been slow or did it creep in, the 2001/2 warriors was us at our peek, even if the wheels fell off and I have good memories of dat team, but the rut set in from there onward, that the 06' warriors made WC was nothing short of miraculous and an underdog story for the ages, I once drew comparison between the coup and the seeming drying up of "natural" talents comparable to yorke, Latapy and such the like thereafter.
Talking about slow, did anyone see the Saprissa v Impact game last night ? Aubrey David game ? Thoughts ! I think pace is a deceptive  issue when a team is able to control properly , hold formation and make accurate passes. Opposing players closed down, no panic by offensive player, just a casual knock to the open offensive support. That's technical ability. What we have a talent, what we don't have is football technical ability. What that game lacked was creativity and offensive aggression. Yet one must consider Impact seemed to play for the tie, still their goalie had to make 2 crucial saves. That's his job and he did it well. What pace did Aubrey have to display ? None, imo. He ALWAYS had support.
but maxg, what about speed of thought and the speed of action based on said thought (Elite Footballers/Athletes in general), our collective game is slow, in ah local game yuh would see ah man take 5-6 touch while spinning seemingly not knowing what he going and do next similarly his teammates would be static standing next to or behind ah play within "interceptive"  range with not even a thought to signal ah free channel or shift positions to open ah channel (The majority of our local professional footballers are slightly above average, in both dedication and commitment, in spite of what many want to believe, not necessarily their fault, could be systemic)), I not talking about foot speed in isolation, we have god given learning computers in we head dat we getting less and less adept at using, seemingly with every advance in tech.... :cursing: many of our kids these day lack pure reasoning skills in most disciplines outside figuring out touch tech and social media. (somewhat agree - again not entirely their fault doh(1))
Just an Opine, without further research on the many variables involved i.e. I don't live in TT, although I played bench in SSFL there. However, I played pickup, community, provincial, National as well as semipro as a coach and player in Canada. Different system. Before injury, my game didn't change, but was not suited for my QRC coach, and was well suited for my Provincial and National coaches here. So system and selection might be 2 such variables. Still I was a Natural doh not a good athlete. We have many natural and good athletes in TT, although not necessarily in the same individual. I saw many very good - above average even - players, only choosing or maybe affording to play pickup.
With the development and training of many of our coaches today, maybe greater direction can be instilled, and stronger more informed National selection be achieved. However, we may not see the benefit for a few years. I have faith, as long as we don't minimize that pool even more by crime and socio-economic exclusion. More variables.
 We still in the whole scheme of things have a relatively small pool, as compared to the football we (armchair critics) are accustomed following and like, through that same sometimes destructive media.

1. https://newsday.co.tt/2020/02/27/activists-schools-fail-todays-youth/
« Last Edit: February 27, 2020, 06:09:49 PM by maxg »

Offline lefty

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Re: Foreign-based College Players Thread
« Reply #454 on: February 27, 2020, 06:49:34 PM »
I here yuh on all points, I am a big believer in the power of the brain even doh I too am at best average.....uni drop out.....though mih travails dey might have been d early signs of ah recent hydrocephalus diagnosis, I however believe that "smarts" can be coached through scenario building and problem solving exercises to sharpen d connection between mind and body.....before mih body started to suffer d effects of this ting I could really move because in my mind, I could really move, so much so dat smetimes mih body would for some important moments in mih life "forget" dat ah was disabled and did some crazy shit....some of those instances quite literally saved my life......d mind is ah powerful ting truly open it and crazy amazin shit is possible for anybody...we need to open we children minds and dey bodies will follow
I pity the fool....

Offline maxg

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Re: Foreign-based College Players Thread
« Reply #455 on: February 27, 2020, 07:13:51 PM »
I here yuh on all points, I am a big believer in the power of the brain even doh I too am at best average.....uni drop out.....though mih travails dey might have been d early signs of ah recent hydrocephalus diagnosis, I however believe that "smarts" can be coached through scenario building and problem solving exercises to sharpen d connection between mind and body.....before mih body started to suffer d effects of this ting I could really move because in my mind, I could really move, so much so dat smetimes mih body would for some important moments in mih life "forget" dat ah was disabled and did some crazy shit....some of those instances quite literally saved my life......d mind is ah powerful ting truly open it and crazy amazin shit is possible for anybody...we need to open we children minds and dey bodies will follow
:thumbsup: :cheers:

Offline Tiresais

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Re: Foreign-based College Players Thread
« Reply #456 on: February 28, 2020, 03:46:36 AM »
I've said that for years - the pace of the game is too slow and it stood out for me watching local games v the English game at all levels. The technical ability was there for sure.

has our game always been slow or did it creep in, the 2001/2 warriors was us at our peek, even if the wheels fell off and I have good memories of dat team, but the rut set in from there onward, that the 06' warriors made WC was nothing short of miraculous and an underdog story for the ages, I once drew comparison between the coup and the seeming drying up of "natural" talents comparable to yorke, Latapy and such the like thereafter.

From what little I know and have seen before 2012, it seems to have been quicker in the past. This might have been due to the transition from Professional to "professional" in our top league, and as enthusiasm and investment from 2006 dropped off and the SSFL dominated our player development at younger ages.

Pace is more than just speed, I might have used the wrong word here - tempo might be better. I see this at youth level - the difference between the A teams and B teams is always the tempo and time you have to think. Top level play won't let you have time on the ball and it boils down to being quick enough to make space, or think quick enough/far enough ahead, or have the technical ability/first touch to make space for yourself.,

Offline asylumseeker

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Re: Foreign-based College Players Thread
« Reply #457 on: February 28, 2020, 05:52:41 AM »
I here yuh on all points, I am a big believer in the power of the brain even doh I too am at best average.....uni drop out.....though mih travails dey might have been d early signs of ah recent hydrocephalus diagnosis, I however believe that "smarts" can be coached through scenario building and problem solving exercises to sharpen d connection between mind and body.....before mih body started to suffer d effects of this ting I could really move because in my mind, I could really move, so much so dat smetimes mih body would for some important moments in mih life "forget" dat ah was disabled and did some crazy shit....some of those instances quite literally saved my life......d mind is ah powerful ting truly open it and crazy amazin shit is possible for anybody...we need to open we children minds and dey bodies will follow

Chin up, lefty. Dropping out of uni ... or even merely going to uni ... are not conclusive about "smarts". Some are prepared to go, but are not prepared for leaving. Some are prepared for leaving but were not prepared for arriving. Babylon system is a vampire.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2020, 05:54:37 AM by asylumseeker »
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/BpgNkEpfdws" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/BpgNkEpfdws</a>

Think of the 2022 conversation regarding reparations as the item tabled for future discussion when initially raised for negotiation during talks in 1834. A lot of intere$t has accrued.

Offline asylumseeker

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Re: Foreign-based College Players Thread
« Reply #458 on: February 28, 2020, 06:00:19 AM »
Why does the game  seem slower? Compared to yesteryear? Because concerns about preserving possession took over from responding to the vagaries of dynamic, free flowing, expressive football. End result: stifled creativity.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2020, 06:03:15 AM by asylumseeker »
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/BpgNkEpfdws" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/BpgNkEpfdws</a>

Think of the 2022 conversation regarding reparations as the item tabled for future discussion when initially raised for negotiation during talks in 1834. A lot of intere$t has accrued.

Offline lefty

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Re: Foreign-based College Players Thread
« Reply #459 on: February 28, 2020, 06:25:26 AM »
When I refer to speed I automatically include thought as an element of speed, pirlo for instance could drive a game forward rapidly with one deft touch or a pinpoint pass out of no where yet physically he was nothing special....."speed" in football IMO refers to the rate at which we advance the play as a collective
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Offline Flex

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Re: Foreign-based College Players Thread
« Reply #460 on: April 24, 2020, 08:08:45 AM »
Phillip among 4 SSFL stars on US schols.
By Walter Alibey (Guardian).


St Anthony’s and Trinity Colleges striker Kai Phillip is four players who have earned scholarships to Colleges in the United States later this year.

Phillips, the scorer of many goals for St Anthony’s College in last year’s Premier Division of the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) was spotted by scouts and other football coaches before Lions Pride, an international sports recruitment agency was called in.

The form-five repeater will join three other student footballers and teammates from Trinity College Moka, steady defenders Anfernee Bascombe and Temesgn Tezera, as well as utility player Ronaldo Jacob when the US Colleges season kicks off in September.

On Thursday, Phillip, who scored a season-high 17 goals last year that propelled the Westmooring Tigers to one of the top five positions in the season, is set to pursue a degree in Business Administration, along with Jacob, but both have said they want to play professionally if the opportunity presents itself. Phillip, at age 19 said he was told by a close relative that because of his tender age, he could also become a target for Major Soccer League (MLS) clubs, should he perform to his potential.

“I want to follow in the footsteps of my good friend and former schoolmate at Trinity College Moka back in 2018 Raheim Jawahir. Due to his footballing talents, he has gone on to receive a trial with a club in Spain. He has been a role model to me and like him, I would like to move on to play for either Leicester City or Manchester City in the English Premiership.”

Jacob’s versatility on the football field in positions of defensive midfield and as a central defender has put him on the path of his favourite international stars- Brazilians Marcelo and Casemiro. He told Guardian Media Sports he has had to work twice as hard for the past two years to attain the achievements he has today.

“I intend to balance the football with my academics and whichever one works out for me in the end, I will be happy. I know it will be a challenge but I believe that once you put your mind to any task at hand, then you can achieve it. You can achieve anything you want to achieve,” Jacob said.

Despite a not-to-profitable season for Trinity College Moka at the end of the 2019 season, Jacob believes he has made a lot of personal achievements, thanks to the schools he attended- St Anthony’s College and Trinity, as well as coaches Jean Lilywhite, Michael Paul, Sheldon De Freitas among others. He also had a special thanks to his father Simon Jacob Snr for motivation and encouragement.

Trinity coach Joel Charles described Phillip as a natural-born goal scorer and Jacob as a mature player with a thunderous left-footed shot. According to Charles “Temesgn is an intelligent player with an outstanding touch, while Bascombe can be the perfect player in terms of physical attributes, height and power.”

« Last Edit: April 24, 2020, 04:58:47 PM by Flex »
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Offline Tallman

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Re: Foreign-based College Players Thread
« Reply #461 on: May 02, 2020, 08:13:09 AM »
Academic, football star graduates virtually on Sunday
By Jonathan Ramnanansingh (T&T Newsday)


FORMER PRESENTATION College San Fernando and Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) standout footballer Kareem "Enzo" Riley graduates with a BSc in legal studies (honours) in a special virtual graduation on Sunday.

Because of the global covid19 pandemic, FGCU, like many other universities across the United States, is holding its graduation ceremonies online.

Riley returned to TT in mid-March to be with his family during the downtime and did his remaining examinations electronically.

He will graduate alongside almost 2,000 students at FGCU’s virtual graduation with a 3.76 grade point average (GPA).

The 22-year old completed the four-year degree in three years, having fast-tracked his programme by doing several summer courses. He is planning to begin his masters at Florida International University in August.

Riley, a former Couva East Secondary student, won several secondary school football titles with 'Pres' during his five-year (2012-2017) stay. A central defender, was offered a sport scholarship by the University of North Carolina (UNC) scheduled to begin in January 2018.

However, after completing form six in July 2017, Riley did not plan to wait six months. Impressed by his natural sporting talent and academic prowess, FGCU swiftly offered him a sport scholarship, and he started there two months later.

He said the tropical climate in Florida and the fact that FGCU’s assistant coach was a T&T national also played a part in his choice. FGCU was also playing division one football and ranked among the top 25 teams. He quickly became a first-team starter in his freshman year and said he adapted easily.

“Leaving T&T to play football abroad was a definite step up, it was another level of football,” he said. “Starting from freshman year I played most of the games, similarly in the second year.

"I even captained the team in my third year at FGCU. Knowing there were more senior/older guys before me, to captain them was an honour. Being an international player, from the Caribbean, it meant a lot to me.”

In 2018, Riley’s team won the Atlantic Sun Conference (ASUN) League title, made it into the championship game in 2019 but lost the final against New Jersey Institute of Technology. He also made several first and second team all-conference selections.

Riley also shone brightly in the classroom. In his second year, he was the only student in his conference selected to the Google Cloud All-District Academic Team thanks to his impressive GPA. He was also a regular star-student, having been chosen to FGCU’s Dean’s List and President’s List three times each.

Selection for the dean’s list meant Riley maintained a 3.5 GPA in three semesters. To earn a spot on the president’s list, he achieved three 'perfect' semesters with a flawless 4.0 GPA.

“Having that foundation my parents instilled in me at a young age really helped me a lot to maintain a drive to be successful. I just wanted to prove to them and soon reward them for their efforts. Anything I do, I want to do it at a high level. That was my main drive and it’s working out for me. It was definitely challenging to complete my studies in a shorter duration but I welcome challenges,” he said.

Riley has been preparing himself mentally for his masters programme. However, the global pandemic has prevented him from participating in a month-long training programme with a top Major League Soccer (MLS) club. Although he believes this is a crucial missed opportunity in his football development, he remains confident another favourable offer lies on the horizon, post-covid19.

Riley represented T&T and captained the 2013 Under-15 team at the Torneo Internacional Copa de Las Americas in Colombia. He again wore the captain’s armband at the Under-17 level and was a part of the national Under-20 team.

Although Riley values his stints as a national youth player, he believes coach/administrator/athlete professionalism is much needed to return this country’s football to the top tier.

“Professionalism is the main difference in the US. Everyone is organised, the work ethic is impeccable, because everyone worked harder, the intensity, the football was faster, overall almost everyone was technically sound, from goalkeeper to forward. It was a total step up for me. In my first year at FGCU, I made Freshman Team of the Year. We need to return professionalism to our local circuit,” he declared.

For his many successes thus far, Riley acknowledged his parents, Presentation College’s teachers and coaches Shawn Cooper, Dunstan and Brian Williams and those at FGCU.

He concluded, “If I decide to go play pro, I may have to leave (his masters degree course) in January/February (2021) when the pre-season starts in the US. I don’t mind playing in the US but I prefer Europe. But if I get a job that’s more beneficial to me on a long-term perspective, I would easily get into the legal field. I love football but I’m also academically inclined, so I have these two choices.”
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Offline Tallman

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First to College
« Reply #462 on: May 03, 2020, 08:08:51 AM »
First to College
By Ian Prescott (T&T Express)


Anfernee Bascombe is proudly looking forward to fulfilling a first.

“It was always my dream to go abroad and play football and be the first one in my family to go to college,” stated the 20-year-old Trinity College defender.

In September, 20-year-old Bascombe heads to Texas in the United States to pick up a football scholarship at Rangers College.

For Bascombe, winning a scholarship is the culmination of a dream he had since Form One, and could also be the start of something greater in the future.

Bascombe proves that regardless of circumstances, it is possible to achieve great things.

He grew in the government plannings (housing project) at Hirondelle Street, Morvant, known as the “Fourth Stories”, along with his father, mother and two younger brothers, Jayden and Darryl Jr.

He sees it as both a great opportunity and also a huge responsibility.

“From since I started thinking about my future, this is the stepping stone I wanted to get,” stated the six-foot-two-inch right back, who also plays centre-back.

“I have built a stepping stone for my little brothers,” he added. “So, if they see me do it, they will want to do it, too.”

He has felt the love from friends and neighbours, wishing him well on his journey.

“Everyone has been great,” he said. “They have told me to go for my dream. There has been no negativity at all.”

Abroad, Bascombe hopes to help his college win a few trophies and ultimately, to play Major League Soccer in the United States or professionally elsewhere.

“I am going to be studying physiotherapy and physical education. Other than football, I love the body, so as a second choice job I want to a physio or even a physical education teacher,” he explained.

“That will be my goal when I go abroad — learning more about the game and about the body, and how to treat the body.”

Other than staying at home and relaxing, Bascombe says his only true passion is football and his love for the game led to him to captaining Police in the TT Pro League for three years.

“Football is my main focus,” he said. “I see an avenue to do things through it and I have a love and passion for it.”

Bascombe began his career in the secondary schools Championship Division with Belmont Intermediate (now Belmont Boys) where he played for five years before transferring to Trinity College, Moka.

There, he repeated form five in the first of two years playing for the Maraval school and confessed to feeling some initial anxiety about the move to Moka.

He was soon made to feel at home and thanked his fellow students, footballers and coach Ken Elie for helping him to settle. But he still had to adjust to a playing at a higher level.

“I knew to myself it would have been a higher level of football, so I had to push myself harder,” he related.

“Overall, the adjustment process was not as hard because, although everybody was pushing each other, it was like family up there. But for me, mentally, it was hard because it was adjusting to higher level of football from playing in the Championship and then coming up to the Premiership.”

It was special to Bascombe that former Trinity College teammates Temesgn Tezera, Ronaldo Jacob and striker Kai Phillip — who played for St Anthony’s in his final year — will all also head to the United States to pick up football scholarships.

These teammates all made him feel at home at Moka.

“The whole school environment was like a family up there, whether it was rugby or dragon boat (racing),” he said. “Everything was welcoming. Every player on the team was welcoming. From the captain straight down to someone on the bench.”

Finally, he thanked many people for helping get him the opportunity.

“But most of all, I would like to thank God,” Bascombe said.
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Offline Tallman

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Laventille’s Ronaldo heads to Lyon College on football schol
« Reply #463 on: May 11, 2020, 06:49:04 AM »
Laventille’s Ronaldo heads to Lyon College on football schol
By Shane Superville (T&T Newsday)


IN September, Lyon College, Arkansas, will have a new addition to their student roster with the much-anticipated arrival of Ronaldo Jacob.

Jacob, a former St Anthony’s College and Trinity College Moka student, earned an athletic scholarship to Lyon College last year after impressing football coaches and talent scouts with his abilities on and off the football field, notably with his service to other young men in his Laventille community.

For many young athletes, collegiate athletics is the first step towards a professional sports career, but while Jacob is eager to bring his passion for football to an arena outside of T&T, the 20-year-old Pashley Street native says he is much more interested in being able to give back to his community when he returns to T&T after graduating.

Speaking with Newsday, in Laventille, on Saturday, Ronaldo reflected on his journey as a student-athlete, his message to other young people and his plans for the future which he said did not revolve around football.

Ronaldo, who is named after legendary former Brazil forward Ronaldo de Lima, says while he intends to live up to the reputation of his namesake, he is his own man with his own ambitions.

While on the surface Ronaldo may seem calm and collected, he admits he is excited for what the future holds for him during his stay at Lyon College.

“This won’t be the first time I’m travelling abroad. I would have travelled to Italy in 2014 with WB Connection who I played for at the time. I’m not really nervous but I’m just looking forward to starting the season in the US.”

Every day for the past 15 years, Jacob has played, trained, or thought about football.

His passion for the game has been with him since childhood, but it was only until a family trip to Chacachacare when Jacob was only five-years-old that his father Simon Jacob Snr realised his son’s potential as an athlete.

“We were on the beach liming and Ronaldo was playing with a football. I kept watch on him to make sure that he wasn’t getting too close to the water when a friend of the family told me that he (Ronaldo) had a gift.

“He said while most children would run behind the ball, Ronaldo kept pace with it and controlled it well. That is what prompted me to get him involved in a football club and that’s what he’s been doing ever since.”

It was at this point Ronaldo was placed under the mentorship of former athlete and Hummingbird medal winner Michael Paul at his Laventille football academy. It is here Ronaldo not only learned the basics of the game but the importance of camaraderie and leadership as he is often called to assist younger players with their technique. Ronaldo has walked a tightrope in balancing athletics and academics, something he credits largely to his parents’ involvement through a strict routine.

“Discipline is a huge part of success. It gives shape to the goals that you have. In my case, while a lot of my friends would have been out partying or liming, I was inside studying or outside playing football and perfecting my skill. It’s hard work but it’s necessary and I want other young people to understand that.”

While Ronaldo may seem to have a one-track mind between his studies and love for football, this focus has kept him on a straight and narrow path towards achieving his goals despite growing up in what many consider a “hotspot” area.

A self-described “inside child”, Ronaldo admits he scarcely goes outside and while he may not have had an up-close and personal encounter with Laventille’s darker side, he is aware of the sad and dangerous realities that continue to confront some of its youngest residents.

“I haven’t had any interactions on that part but I want to help other youths realise their own potential and understand that if I can do it, so can they.”

In addition to helping coach form one students, at Trinity College, and the younger children at Paul’s football academy, Ronaldo has also volunteered in the Heroes Foundation, a non-governmental organisation aimed at providing community service to others.

He admits while the game he loves can be physically and emotionally demanding, his drive to be the best has not waned and is determined to help other young athletes find their true potential through coaching. Recalling his most memorable game at the Under 17 North-South classic at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium, where he was brought out onto the field during the second half pushing his team to victory over Naparima Boys College.

While there are many ways to tell the story of a successful athlete who has defied the odds to win the game and the admiration of his fans, it’s difficult to capture the failures that go into creating such a star from the ground up. Ronaldo has had his fair share of failures.

Recalling one game with Fatima college where his team lost, the frustration and failure drove him to tears after the match. What impact this experience had on his ability is hard to tell since Ronaldo remembers the loss with the same steady composure as he would remember his greatest victory.

Speaking with Newsday, coach Michael Paul said he was proud of Ronaldo’s accomplishment and was confident he would represent his new team with the same quiet strength that took him throughout an impressive secondary school career. Robert Gregory, one of Ronaldo’s neighbours and family friend also chimed in on his scholarship and wished him the best with the new chapter of his life.

“I noticed his skill from a young age going to the Fernandes Recreation Ground and watching him play. I said it back then and I’m saying it now that I’m proud of him and I think within a few years I might be able to see him playing in the Premier League. I really believe in him.”

If Ronaldo represents what one young man can accomplish with hard work, steely discipline and guidance from family, his calm demeanour tells a different story, that life as chaotic and fast-paced as it could be is sometimes best faced with the cool composure of a man who knows what he wants and is confident in his ability to achieve it.
The Conquering Lion of Judah shall break every chain.

Offline Deeks

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Re: Foreign-based College Players Thread
« Reply #464 on: May 11, 2020, 07:03:51 AM »
Living in the states umpteen years, first time hearing about this school. Congrats and Good Luck. Blessings.

Offline maxg

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Offline Tallman

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Laventille footballer Ronaldo Jacob excels on and off the field
« Reply #466 on: January 10, 2022, 06:51:39 PM »
Laventille footballer Ronaldo Jacob excels on and off the field
By Shane Superville (T&T Newsday)


IT HAS been an eventful two years for Ronaldo Jacob. A month after Trinidad and Tobago recorded its first covid19 case in 2020, he left to begin a new chapter of his life at Lyon College, Arkansas, United States.

Jacob, 22, visited T&T for Christmas break and spoke about his experiences abroad and expectations for the future at a friend's Laventille home on Wednesday.

Despite being a relatively recent addition to the student roster, Jacob said he had no problems settling into campus life, beginning pre-season football training two weeks after registering. He's on an athletic scholarship, and plays left back and centre back at the college.

In addition to competing against some of the best student athletes in the southern US, Jacob must also find time to keep up with a demanding course schedule and his job in the campus cafeteria.

He says while the fast pace of the campus environment can be overwhelming, he has adjusted well, crediting his organisational skills and work ethic to lessons he learned in T&T.

"I've had this dream my entire life, so it's not to say I'm worried or panicking. My entire life I've been pushing hard, so it's not to say that this is too much stress.

"The one thing the university ensures is that without a proper GPA they put you out, because you must maintain a certain GPA to maintain your eligibility so they push you academically as well. So that's what helps.

"By the time I got up there, everything went smoothly. I know what I was preparing for – I watched enough movies and enough football programmes to know it's a lot of work and you just have to get to work immediately."

Jacob's day begins at 6 am, giving him enough time to go to the gym for an hour-long workout before getting ready for class at 8 am.

Class time continues to 2 pm, when he begins his job at the cafeteria before football training at 4.30 pm.

He says training usually lasts for two hours before he gets home and begins studying, which can take him to 11 pm.

While this rigid routine has worked well, Jacob admits he had some difficulty getting used to the change in climate and air quality, but says his passion for the game was a main factor in keeping him focused.

"It was a little difficult at the beginning, because the air is a lot different over there, it's a lot thinner. But my body eventually got accustomed to it and I started to enjoy training a lot more because I felt I had to push my body more."

For this reason Jacob has spent more time on strength and conditioning while abroad and joked that even his father noticed his increase in size when he returned to Trinidad.

Meanwhile, Lyon College moved up six spots in the US schools soccer programme to number 19, the highest they have ever been ranked outperforming long-time rivals Columbia College.

Even with this dedication to football, staying on top of his academics remains a top priority.

Jacob originally planned to study business, but changed to English after reflecting on his personal plans and career goals. He says other young people should carefully consider their options before starting a degree programme, and not just go on their parents' advice.

"It's a good degree programme, but it's not something I would enjoy doing for the rest of my life. I love English, and there are so much options with it in writing, journalism and all that. So I thought I should give it a try, and so far I felt like I made the right choice. It's a lot of writing, but I like to do it, so I don't really feel stressed...

"Initially when everyone is growing up their parents might want them to be a doctor or a scientist. Obviously not everyone can be a doctor or a scientist, everyone has to go into different fields to let the world turn properly.

"Yes it's good to push yourself to the limit and do your best, but find something that you enjoy doing, because if you don't enjoy it you'll only go after it half-heartedly."

The change has worked out well for Jacob, as his GPA was high enough for him to make the honour roll, placing him among the top students at the university.

He says while he worked hard at completing assignments, he was still surprised to hear about his achievement.

"I got a message from my coach telling me I made the honour roll. I was shocked. It was myself and about three or four other guys.

"Even when they were doing some recent recruitment drives, they used me and the other athletes as examples. He said. 'These three guys, yes, they are soccer players, but they pushed their GPA even beyond the base requirement'. He said these are the things teachers like, because it shows the programme is going well."

While he is proud of these achievements, Jacob says he is wary of becoming too comfortable in success and maintains the same hunger and passion as he did when he was a star player for Trinity College, Maraval.

He aims to be an All-American, an honorary title given to outstanding student athletes, and become captain of his school's football team.

With such high ambitions and a heavy schedule, Jacob says he still finds time to enjoy the sights of Arkansas and enjoys new experiences with his friends.

"I have some friends over there, we go to the river or something, or go hiking, because where our school is located is in the rural US. There are a lot of nice hiking spots where you can go to relax. There are a lot of hammock spots."

He also enjoys spending time with his new friends and sharing parts of TT culture, recalling their attempts to imitate pelau in the cafeteria.

"I gave them the recipe and a video to watch on instructions, because I cook as well, but I let them give it a try because they were the ones in control of the International Food Tasting event. So they tried to do the pelau – and it didn't come out anything like what I thought it would be.

"It was a funny experience and a few people actually enjoyed it.

"But I know that's not what it's supposed to be."

Jacob has also introduced his friends to TT cooking, as he prepared curry chicken, cottage cheese spinach and rice for an event which he said was an overwhelming success, as he used curry powder bought in Trinidad.

He says cooking is another passion of his and has considered investing in a small restaurant once he is finished with his studies.

"One of my goals is to open up a business like that –a very small fast food place. It could start off small, but who knows, it could blossom into a franchise. I had that idea a while but I'm taking it one step at a time."

Newsday also spoke to Jacob's father, Simon Jacob Sr, who is very proud of his son and said while it was difficult having him away from home this long, they were in constant communication. Jacob's family includes his mother Leslie-Ann Jacob, and three siblings – Simon Jacob Jnr, Tricia Jacob-Benjamin and Malcolm Jacob.

"I was worried for a while because this is the first time he's been away for so long – 11 months and 15 days – so it was a bit of a strain mentally, because we're always together," said his father.

"When I heard the pandemic escalating in the US I called him and told him to wear his mask. He was actually the first one in the family to get vaccinated. Sometimes he might call me on the phone and I might hear someone passing near him and I would remind him to wear his mask."

The elder Jacob is also proud that his lessons of resilience and consistency stayed with his son, and advised other parents to maintain a presence in the lives of their children.

Jacob's former coach and long-time mentor Michael Paul also said he was proud of his accomplishments and thanked him for continuing to take pride in Laventille as his hometown.

He also said there was potential for other young men to excel once they were given the opportunities and encouragement to be their best.

"I have a joy in my heart for everything he has done. I've known him since he was six years old, being able to see all the work he did with the help of his father.

"Anyone can reach this point, but it's important for the family to give them that support. All the potential in the world won't be enough if children aren't encouraged."

Family friend and football enthusiast Gregory Pierre also praised Jacob and urged the young athlete to continue doing his best and empower others to push themselves.

With two more years left in his degree programme, Jacob is determined to leave his mark on a university far from the country and neighbourhood where he grew up. He has grown to be a better athlete and thinker, but his passion and drive for success remain the same.
The Conquering Lion of Judah shall break every chain.