They described themselves as “Madrid FC.” The oldest player on the team, and the one wearing the captain’s band, is 12 years old.
Their last soccer encounter, a recent friendly, was against Barca FC; and despite putting their all into the game, they were only able to manage a 2-2 draw. Their two goals came through left winger Alhaji Bah and goalkeeper Pato Young, who converted a penalty award.
The team is coached by Tenise Toe, who says, “When we are playing against a team, because we don’t have money to buy water, we will rush to our homes during the half time break to drink.” And the referee allows that.
He says whenever there is a game, he stands on the sideline and yells until he is hoarse “because that is the only way you can get the players to know what they should do on the field.”
Their games are held on Tasema Field in New Kru Town. Like many clubs that are organized for the love of the game, they play without boots; they don’t own a football and during games some will wear boots while others will play bare feet.
“We rent football to play our friendly matches at L$50 a game,” coach Toe tells the Daily Observer in an interview yesterday. “We need footballs, at least two so that we will not have to rent a football to play our games. We are not part of any league. We just play any team that we hear about. We write a letter to the team and ask them to play us.
“We have not won any trophies because we play clubs that also don’t have much like us.”
He said the team now has little Ms. Susan Jarwula as medic, adding “she will be always on the field to make sure that when any of the players fall on the field and the referee requests for help, she will run to his help.”
The team’s players include: Skipper Aleyandro Jeegbe, #7; Kelvin Nah, #5; Wellington Rag, #9; Alhaji Bah, #11; Amos Willy, #10; Abduramin Bah, #6; Reuben Freeman, #3; Bartu Brooks, #4; Alasumu Bah, #8; Boy Teddy, #2; Young Biggie, goalkeeper; Fred Nyanfor, #9; Tamba Bestor, #11; Champ Toe, #4; and Melvin Bestor, #8.
Many soccer stars began their careers from the love of the game like the kids in Madrid FC. But in these challenging times, it makes sense to assume that only organized football can reveal the talents of kids whose love for the game is their passion to play the game.