Game on

Aneeq Booley from Lansdowne, Liam Williams from Belgravia and Simpiwe Jacobs from Charlesville are part of the Simsport Eagles Squad set to travel to England to spend time with Bolton Wanderers.

Picture: Fuad Esack

Liam’s father, Allister Williams said the Grade 8 pupil and under-16 captain at Livingstone High started playing football for Oriental Gunners FC at the Rygate LFA, at the age of eight.

“He is sometimes requested to join the under 18 team when needed and never says no. This just describes Liam’s attitude towards soccer, life in general and also shows that he is a highly motivated individual who is willing to put in the hard work to get what he wants.

“He is a real team player and a very respectful young man which I am extremely proud of. His younger brothers Joshua, 12, and Blake, 4, can definitely look up to him and follow in his footsteps,” he said.

Aneeq’s mother, Sharmillah, said the Grade 8 pupil at Claremont High should make the most out of such an opportunity.

“I think it’s a good opportunity for them to be exposed to what is out there,” she said.

Simsport Eagles coach, Shamieg McLaurie said a trip like this can change their mentality and lifestyle towards life, education and being focused.

“All of them have a bright future ahead of them when it comes to sports and education. They are willing to learn, not everyone will make it, that is the reality of life, but they are eager for everything and I’m happy, I can only wish them the best,” he said.

On Monday, the three youngsters played a friendly match against FC Kapstadt’s under-16 team at Hartleyvale, in Observatory. McLaurie said the average age for his squad is 15.

“They are very young. It’s very important when it comes to their age to play against older teams. It keeps them away from bad habits. Our opposition is going to be much taller and much more built (in England) so playing against boys that are much older will help them to develop more,” he said.

“We had a training camp at the weekend with two sessions, so they can get to know each other better.

“We also teach life skills and have educational programmes because you can get injured on the field and you need education,” he said.

McLaurie said they will leave for Bolton Wanderers on August 29 for a seven-day training camp.

He said they will also watch Bolton Wanderers at the Macron Stadium on September 6, and they will visit either Old Trafford or Anfield. “They will receive professional level training and will use all the facilities at Bolton,” he said.