A love for football and a passion to succeed best describes 20 year old Play Whe San Juan Jabloteh player Sean Bonval, whose eyes light up and a big smile emerges as he talks about the game.
Bonval grew up in Maloney and he explained that his grandparents, Grace and Ronald Bonval—especially his grandmother—watched him closely, as they tried to keep him out of trouble. They encouraged him to play football to keep him occupied.
Bonval, who is coming to the end of his first full Pro League season, sat with Wired868 for a One on One.
Name: Sean Bonval
Current Team: San Juan Jabloteh
Position: Left/Right Wing
Date of Birth: 7 March 1996
Home town: Maloney Gardens, D’Abadie.
What school did you attend?
I went to El Dorado West Secondary and then repeated my last year in Trinity College East as El Dorado wasn’t taking any repeaters at that time.
Who is your favourite player?
I like Ronaldinho. People have said that I look like him but I like the way he plays. He’s unpredictable.
What is your favourite team?
My favourite team is FC Barcelona. I like Barcelona because of their style of play. The way they pass and move always keeping the ball in play, until they find an opening to score.
How would you describe yourself?
I am very shy.
What is something most people do not know about you?
I like to be by myself. I like to make people laugh and I like being home and thinking about football.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I like playing video games and relaxing with my friends.
How did you start playing football?
I liked football from a baby. I started playing in primary school and kicking ball with my neighbours at home. I played football throughout my childhood at both of my primary schools, Tunapuna Boys RC and Maloney Government.
What is your earliest football memory?
I would always burst my toe because I played barefoot. Anytime I got a chance to play football I would go as is, barefoot, bareback anyhow. There were 14 of us who grew up like family in my neighbourhood, I can’t even begin to name them as there would be too many people to have to name.
What makes you stand out as a player?
My desire to work and push myself. Even if I’m tired, I go the extra mile. My friends would always push me to play harder.
Who was your most important and influential coach?
I would have to mention two coaches. Adrian Romain from St Ann’s Rangers. He pushed me to be the best that I could be and taught me to manage my time. The other is Shem Alexander from El Dorado West Secondary he had three basic rules: No Obscene Language, Never Criticise a Player and Always Reach on Time. He would read a bible verse before each game. It really helped us to have a positive mindset.
What is your ambition for your career?
I love football. It keeps me out of trouble. I want to be recognised as a key player. My grandmother used to criticise me for playing football because the sun made me dark, but I have no intentions of stopping. I want to play football (anywhere) in Spain but my ultimate dream is to play with FC Barcelona.
What is your best moment in football so far?
That would have been my very first Pro League game with Jabloteh against Police FC at the start of this season. I struggled with injuries during the season and in the tunnel before the game everyone was asking me what was wrong. But I put all fears and worries aside and set up the first goal and scored the second goal of the game.
What is your target for the season?
I want to market myself and become a better team player and contribute more to the team.
Any words of encouragement to young footballers?
Never lose focus. Always be passionate and enjoy the game.