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Garcia: Young Warrior has style and substance

Mere hours away from “D-day”, the Trinidad and Tobago national under-17 team can decide its fate with another glorious 90 minute effort against Panama as the young “Soca Warriors” close in on a spot at the 2013 United Arab Emirates FIFA Under-17 World Cup.

Once more, St Augustine Secondary and San Juan Jabloteh schoolboy Akeem Garcia is expected to be in the thick of things. His speed and tricks can be eye-catching. But his motivation is simple.

“I have always liked football, since I was small,” Garcia told Wired868.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago national under-17 attacker Akeem Garcia. (Courtesy Victoria Walcott/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago national under-17 attacker Akeem Garcia.
(Courtesy Victoria Walcott/Wired868)

Still in his early teens, Garcia has already proved that football is more than a hobby with an impressive array of experiences in a variety of school and club tournaments and training camps. But getting to the World Cup might make everything else fade into insignificance.

He sees that the national under-17 team as his second family.

“We are a family; one unit,” said Garcia. “On the field, even if we shout at each other (once we get) off the field, there are no hard feelings.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago national under-17 footballer Akeem Garcia (far right) and his teammates at a training session. (Courtesy Victoria Walcott/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago national under-17 footballer Akeem Garcia (far right) and his teammates at a training session.
(Courtesy Victoria Walcott/Wired868)

His teammates agreed on the close bond between the Warriors. Tonight, host nation, Panama, is expected to throw out a daunting challenge.

Trinidad and Tobago’s close-knit band of brothers will accept it eagerly.

Name: Akeem Garcia

DOB: September 11th, 1996

Age: 17

Position: Striker

Favourite Number: 10

Favourite Player: Cristiano Ronaldo

School: St. Augustine Secondary

Club: San Juan Jabloteh

Hometown: Chaguanas

Something most people don’t know: Garcia was named the MVP and leading goal scorer of the Youth awards for the 2011-2012 season in the under 16 category.

Q & A:

What motivates you?

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago national under-17 midfielder Akeem Garcia. (Courtesy Victoria Walcott/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago national under-17 midfielder Akeem Garcia.
(Courtesy Victoria Walcott/Wired868)

“I want to be the best, that is what pushes me.”

Where do you see yourself in five years?

“Well I definitely want a scholarship and then I want to play football full-time. Football is what I want to do until I can’t anymore.”

Which player do you admire most and why?

(Cristiano Ronaldo) CR7 is my favourite player. I love the tricks and skills he has and it is something I want to learn myself.

 

AboutVictoria Walcott

Victoria Walcott
Victoria Walcott is a journalism student at COSTAATT and an intern at Wired868.

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