Home / Volley / SSFL / The boy from La Lune who shoots for the moon: One on one with Sharkeel Louison

The boy from La Lune who shoots for the moon: One on one with Sharkeel Louison

Inside the chest of Fyzabad Secondary school football captain, Sharkeel Louison, beats the heart and soul of a true warrior. His dream is to put his small home town of Moruga on the international map, which he hopes will entice scouts to come and see the many sporting talents of the area.

Wired868 chatted with one on one with the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) standout:

Photo: Sharkeel Louison. (Courtesy: Carlotta Rivas/Wired868)
Photo: Fyzabad Secondary captain Sharkeel Louison.
(Courtesy Carlotta Rivas/Wired868)

What is your date of birth?

I was born on 16 July 1998.

What is your home town? 

I hail from La Lune in Moruga, which people like to call the “the country”.

Who is your favorite player?

My favorite player is Cristiano Ronaldo.

What is your favorite team?

(Smiles) Real Madrid of course!

How would you describe yourself as a person?

I am a very focused, serious person. I don’t like being around people who on foolishness, so I only like to lime with people who could give me good advice. Because I grow up with my mommy alone, I don’t like anybody to turn me away from the right path.

I like to be the leader. I don’t want to be the follower because I always like people to have my back. I know what I want in football, so I not allowing anybody to pull me off that path. I want to help my mommy, I just love my mommy.

Photo: Fyzabad Secondary Sharkeel Louison (centre) passes the ball during SSFL Premier Division action against St Anthony's College on 24 September 2016 at Fyzabad. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Fyzabad Secondary Sharkeel Louison (centre) passes the ball during SSFL Premier Division action against St Anthony’s College on 24 September 2016 at Fyzabad.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

What is something most people do not know about you? 

That I am from a single parent home and I live with my mommy, Bridgette Charles, and my two little sisters. We are very poor but not because I am from quite Moruga and is only bush [means I don’t have anything to offer].

I want people to know the person that I am. I love to be with my friends, I love my mommy and my family. I am a real cool person who loves to play football and I just want  to express my talent so that I can reach far in this life.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I love to train. I like to keep fit and to go hunting with my friends. Otherwise, I have a schedule because I must keep up with my school work so that I can keep playing football.

So I train for half hour running and jogging, then I come in and study for an hour to an hour and a half. Then I have to assist my mommy with chores like washing the wares, bringing water inside and cleaning the yard. I like to help [around the house].

What do you hope to do when you finish school?

I want to put Moruga on the map, so I hope to capture the eye of one of the football scouts so I can gain a Pro League contract. I played [Youth] Pro League with Central FC and was [a member of] the Trinidad and Tobago National Under-17 Team.

We qualified in 2014 for [the CONCACAF Under-17 Championship in] Honduras but I was not chosen as one of the players to go, even though I scored the goal to make us qualify. I would like to play [in the] Pro League and then play for a team in another country. It doesn’t matter where.

Photo: Fyzabad Secondary captain Sharkeel Louison (centre) celebrates his goal against St Anthony's College with a somersault in SSFL Premier Division action on 24 September 2016 at Fyzabad. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Fyzabad Secondary captain Sharkeel Louison (centre) celebrates his goal against St Anthony’s College with a somersault in SSFL Premier Division action on 24 September 2016 at Fyzabad.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Do you know why you were not chosen to go to Honduras?

I missed a lot of the practice sessions which were at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva because I live in Moruga. At times, I had no money to travel to practice and getting transport to and from Moruga is hard. I told them that whenever I was late or did not come to practice.

Sometimes the physical therapist, Ryan, would give me a drop to Couva or San Fernando along with a little money to help me [get to or from] practice but that was it. So I believe this was the reason they didn’t pick me.

What would be success for you as a player?

I believe going to school and passing my exams, taking my training serious so that I can get a Pro League contract and play for the Soca Warriors. And if none of these work out, I have a plan. I want to be a soldier, maybe even go into the Air Guard.

Who was your most important coach/coaches and why?

My Under-17 National coach, Shawn Cooper. He encouraged me to be the best that I can be. I am always first on the field and ready to play. Coach always encouraged me by telling me that if I keep up that attitude and discipline I will go far.

On the field they call me Balazs, he is from Hungary, cause they say I play like him.

Photo: Fyzabad Secondary midfielder and captain Sharkeel Louison (right) in action against Pleasantville Secondary during SSFL Premier Division action at the Mahaica Oval on 17 September 2016. (Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: Fyzabad Secondary midfielder and captain Sharkeel Louison (right) in action against Pleasantville Secondary during SSFL Premier Division action at the Mahaica Oval on 17 September 2016.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

What makes you stand out as a player?

Like I said, I always love to be on the field first and I like people to follow me. So when I get on the field, I set up the play for others to follow. And considering my background and where I come from, I am very serious. So when I have the ball I am a different person. [Also] I can kick with my both feet so that makes me unique.

What was your best and worst moment in football so far?

Making the Trinidad and Tobago Under-17 National Team to go to Colombia and Haiti and getting on that plane and seeing the pride on my mommy’s face.

My worst experience is not having my both parents together and my mommy never seeing me play. She has never come to any of my matches and I don’t know why. All she says is do my best and bring home a win.

If she ever came to one of my matches that would make me play even better.

Photo: Fyzabad Secondary captain Sharkeel Louison (front row, right) and his school teammates. (Courtesy Carlotta Rivas/Wired868)
Photo: Fyzabad Secondary captain Sharkeel Louison (front row, right) and his school teammates.
(Courtesy Carlotta Rivas/Wired868)

 

About Carlotta Rivas

Carlotta Rivas
Carlotta Germine Rivas is in her final year at COSTATT, pursuing her BA in Mass Communications and works in the Customer Service Department at Sagicor. She is also presently an intern at Wired868. Rivas is passionate about people and spends most of her spare time working on various NGO boards in the service of others.

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107 comments

  1. And I just read Carlos Lee statement with respect to what others and himself from the country had to also go thru back in the days and the TTFF/TTFA didn’t even have their own bus to always pick up these players to make certain that they always have the best players. Them really good yes.

  2. I think the kid’s best chance in the short run is the Defence Force. And thankfully he is good enough. Hope he can change his life starting there.

  3. And these parents who doesn’t support their children by going and watch them play the football. I know maybe she has to work as a single mother with three kids, but oh gosh just at least one time and see him play nah, and this is what the American/ foreign parents have over the parents in our sweet country eh and they will never understand by just doing this how far in the sport their kids will finally reach just being there for them.

  4. I am now just reading the story and it really hurts my heart that our young footballers who really needs help and the TTFA doesn’t have nutten in place to do so and they are getting all the millions from FIFA for our football eh, and Mr. Live Wire you see I am always pelting our monies for this and for that so nutten is wrong with contacting me and with all the satire and bacchanal that I like eh I will get things done you know and this is the reason why it is very important to really get the Players Association up and running eh Gordon Pierre and when you yourself knows any players that really needs the help , need boots, monies to represent our national teams contact me nah nephew, Alyuh really good yes.

  5. It’s crazy and sad sometimes how the youths who are passionate about their game are the ones who suffer and miss out albeit for different and sometimes frivolous reasons.

  6. Tremendous young talent.God bless.This place could do with more like you.

  7. Good good player saw him play on many occasions

  8. Just catching up on this one Lasana. Fantastic story. But sad to say it’s not unique. Similar crap was occurring during my time, back in the early 80s. Talented players from the “country” have been suffering for years. First challenge was lack of opportunities to be seen/scouted by national team coaches. If you were lucky to be scouted and got called for the national team the next challenge was getting to practice. Practice sessions were usually scheduled for 8/9 am on Saturdays and Sundays and during my time it was nearly always in POS – national stadium, Police Barracks, Army Base, etc. Players coming from as far as Mayaro, Rio Claro, Point Fortin, La Brea, and me from Valencia had to leave home in the wee hours of the morning to make these early morning practices. Some of us had passage/money for transportation by only bus, while others were fortunate to have enough money to travel by taxi or maxi. And not just one, but sometimes 4-5 different taxis/buses depending on where you were coming from. And by the way, after practice on Saturday we all returned home, then repeated the journey the next morning. The TTFA promised us bus passes to help ease the transportation challenge, and 30 plus years later we still waiting on them. But you know what, those challenges didn’t affect us back then. We were excited about the opportunity for a call up. Most of us were pioneers in our village. We were often the first from our village to receive a call up for a national team and that brought a tremendous amount of pride in the community and within the family. We were hungry to do well, not just for ourselves, but also for our family and for the community. Our hunger sustained us, and motivated us to work harder. We were prepared to succeed in spite of our challenges. Sharkeel, the boy from La Lune, will persevere. He will succeed in spite of his current challenges. He will continue to make his mommy proud. We will help ensure of that.

  9. Lasana.. I kid you not. I just read about this boy and it caused my eyes to water. A young man focused and I mean focused on his craft. I’m angry now.. I’m just fed up fed up of the incompetence of certain elements in football..

  10. Earl Best

    And maybe we need to congratulate the writer/interviewer as well. She must have some special talent to elicit such complete candour from her subject, who apparently held nothing back.

    So, congratulations, Carlotta. You did a really good job on this one.

  11. Earl Best

    Well, this story has set wheels in motion, it seems; individuals are promising to help. But – and both the Editor and Brian Harry make the point repeatedly – the problem is really that there’s nothing systemic in place.

    Maybe with Local Government Elections around the corner and talk of reform in that area in the air, the time is right for Wired868 to suggest what can be done to improve the infrastructural support we provide to our talented sons from rural communities.

    And perhaps we need to make the discussion wider than just football and/or sport.

  12. Kelvin, you should have a read.

  13. That guy to the left in the caption photo equally as good and talented.

  14. Lasana, these are some of the issues that we need to fix. This guy is good and I’ve heard that from many coaches. Here are two issues that stand out (1) no money so misses practice (2) his vision is to play in the local pro league.

    Why should he miss practice for money reasons. Really? Who is psychologically preparing him and helping Jim to see beyond the local pro league. I wish that I can have time with players like him.

  15. When our U17s and U20s qualified for the respective World Cups in South Korea and Egypt, for the training sessions the TTFA had transport provided for the players, Players from Point, La Brea, Penal, Siparia, Vessigny, they were all provided with transport. Training sessions would be as far as Larry Gomes in Arima. In addition to transport, the players were given a substantial enough meal before their journey back, after practices. I am saddened that this is not still in place for these players. Managers and staff need to fight more to ensure their players are taken care of, and given a fair chance. I stand ready to assist in whatever way I can to ensure that this young man is given the opportunity he deserves, he and the others like him.

  16. I have a good friend in Fyzabad so will hook up with her tomorrow and she may be able to talk to him after school and give me more info. Will report tomorrow.

  17. Where there’s a will there is a way

  18. Mad mad talent from that whole cross section of the country.

    Sad to say only one notable person ever really made it recently, and that was women’s football.

  19. I nearly cry with this story oui

  20. Will take at least 1 hour and 15 minutes

  21. Through Penal Rock Road, to Penal, to Siparia, to Fyzabad

  22. Kirwin whats the journey like from Moruga to Fyzo in a maxi, how long?

  23. Is he going to school in Fyzo? If so, thats a long way to come.

  24. I hope this kid fulfills his dreams…he sounds like an outstanding young man…the notion of not being able to get to training because of a lack of finances is disturbing in this day & age! That said it doesn’t surprise me because I know of a couple who dealt with these same challenges…actually it’s ridiculous and the powers that be should feel embarrassed about this young man’s revelation!

  25. This kid embodies hard work and dedication. I remember Dwight telling my dad one time, if only his dad supported him the way my dad supported us he would reach far in football. Look where he reached. Keep your head up young man, people are watching and will help you along the way. Amazing story of perseverance really….

  26. Anyone surprised why talent falls by the wayside in Trini? Imagine this dude has to fork out his own money to go to national team practice; money that he doesn’t have.

  27. If anyone has his number, please send it to me.

  28. I sincerely hope that someone who reads this article takes charge of this situation. I get very angry when I hear stories like these where you have a young man with a level head on his shoulders eager to make a difference but simply cannot afford and there is no system in place to ensure that he gets the

  29. Good read. Young fella is very clear and focused in his thinking.

  30. God blessings Ballack. Very humble and gifted kid. Your Mother is doing an excellent job and you will make her and the Community of Moruga proud. Keep focused .

  31. I know this young man personally and watched him grow from his early years in football to where he is presently but when youths like him come from these far distance in these remote areas their chances of making it is very slim to reach far because they have to perform at 100% daily after having to leave home from as early as 4 o clock in the morning to reach training for 8am and reaching home late at nights barely getting a good night rest. The ones who live close by have the advantage because they are rested well and get chosen in front because their performance remain constant. And not to mention the cost on a daily basis. This is really sad because I had my experience with this as a single parent where my son had to go to Arima from Moruga daily for training on a daily basis and got selected for the National under 20 team only to hear that they were sorry he did not make it because they selected someone else in his place the very last minute when we bought every single thing they told us he had to get and getting disappointed. These young people are emotionally and psycholocigally battered seriously from these experiences.I wish something could be done to help our young talented people in this country where money talks and favouritism exist denying them their opportunity to shine.

  32. Awww! This was such a nice read. He sounds like he has a good head on his shoulders. If only there was some means to help kids like him who want to make something of themselves. Missing out on a trip because you don’t have taxi money to get to training is heartbreaking. I hope he gets the support needed to realize his goals and keep making Mommy proud!

  33. Hope this youth attains his dreams wi

  34. He is a talented midfielder too. I spotted him when Fyzabad played St Anthony’s. He bossed the midfielder and St Anthony’s were lucky to escape with a draw.

  35. Yeh, it was disturbing to read that. I know for a fact that this has been going on for decades. It should not still be happening in this day and age.

  36. Nigel, I am concerned that we do not have a system that allows talented young players an equal chance to represent their country.
    Is the national team the domain of children with solid financial backgrounds now?
    The TTFA can and should find a way to help these players get to training. I’m certain that they can partner with the government to get this done if they care about it enough.