Amilcar Moke, 16, of Goodwood has scored an opportunity of a lifetime to showcase his soccer skills at an international soccer trial in Madrid, Spain, in April. This comes after the young player was scouted at a local trial hosted by the BT Football Recruitment Agency in September last year.
The President High School pupil is one of 15 players selected to attend the international trials hosted by Soccernauts in partnership with the BT Football Recruitment Agency. He is also the youngest player selected at the specific round of trials.
BT Football Recruitment Agency was established in 2022 by its founder, Brandon Timmy.
The agency is based at the Generation Sandown Institute in Milnerton. They scout local players, aged 15 to 21 years, through trials and provide them with an opportunity to go on a 10-day soccer tour to Madrid.
During the soccer tours players play five showcase games against five professional teams. The matches are attended by scouts from around Madrid.
Bianca Schutter, Amilcar’s mother, says this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. “We are grateful that we can send Amilcar because it’s a new door and we don’t know what’s going to happen. He is 16 and the possibilities are endless,” Ms Schutter said.
“We’ve been really blessed on this journey. 2022 was a tough year but this was the cherry on top of the cake and a good way to start 2023 for Amilcar and I,” Ms Schutter said.
The Edgemead Football Club player, who has been playing soccer since Grade 3, hopes to one day play professionally. He aims to accomplish his goal to show people that it doesn’t matter where you come from, it’s what you do with what you have.
“I never had the opportunities the other kids that play for academies in Cape Town have, so this soccer opportunity gives me the chance to say, ‘whether I was there or not I am worthy to become a professional’,” Amilcar said.
Ms Schutter said as a mother she is very proud of Amilcar and his determination.
Mr Timmy said Amilcar is a very confident boy “with a lot of potential”. “He did well at the trials and we invited him back to another training session where he impressed us,” Mr Timmy said.
Although BT Football Recruitment Agency provides the international trial opportunity, the players are responsible to raise the funds to attend.
Ms Schutter said she and Amilcar have a strong support system. They were able to raise the R37 500 needed to secure his trip to Spain through fund-raising events and the financial support of Amilcar’s father, family and friends, as well as his high school grade head.
They’ve set out to raise a further R25 000 to cover extra expenses such as soccer boots.
Amilcar says what attracted him to soccer is the joy it brings people. “I see a lot of people enjoy themselves when they play the sport. When I was younger I only watched the older kids play, so watching them really inspired me to try and make other people feel good,” he said.
He says he looks forward to the trip, especially since this will be his first time travelling by plane and leaving South Africa.
“I’m also looking forward to building a relationship with new people, that I can one day join up with and say that we’ve done something good for ourselves,” he said.