PRESS RELEASE: With one semester left of his two-year stint at the Atlanta-based Andrews College in the United States, 22-year-old Troy Ceasar, has already begun to assess what his next step will be.
The young talent is currently studying computer programming and business administration and will continue to do so when he decides on which of the tertiary school offers to take up.
Meanwhile, Ceasar is one of more than a dozen male and female soccer players who has received funding from the British Virgin Islands Football Association’s (BVIFA) scholarship programme.
The initiative was launched by President Andy Bickerton some five years ago.
Ceasar has most recently been rewarded with a pick on the 2016 Caribbean Football Young Stars awards in which 15 young players from around the region were nominated by coaches and writers.
“When I first saw [that] I was included on the list of the top 15 Caribbean youth players, a tear came to my eye,” noted Cesar. “I wasn’t expecting it all but thanked God for the selection; and my coaches.”
To make the list Ceasar – who has received club, country, and regional honours throughout last year – had to be under 23, born in the Caribbean, and play at the college level.
His coach at Andrews, Rudy Roediger said Ceasar has a top speed of over 20 miles an hour, has learnt to use both feet, and is skillful with the ball. Coach Richards also said that Ceasar completes roughly 80 percent of his passes, and steps out of the defensive line with an awareness and a will to win the ball. He also wins 90 per cent of his aerial duels with his 38-inch verticals. Ceasar is a versatile player, Roediger added.
Ceasar, in the meantime, said being at Andrews College opened his eyes not only to football but also to education.
“The systems they utilise for both have showed me how to learn and appreciate my talents. I learnt several things that people from the Caribbean shouldn’t just expect to happen, but what you can achieve through hard work.”
“The playing style of soccer was different at first but the system to play from the back and have more confidence helped my game and showed me I could really compete with other players from around the world”
Ceasar, a humble young man, also heaped praise on the coaches whom he has worked with coming up through the system in the Territory.
“I have to thank Cassandra Gregg who not only bought me my first pair of boots, but gave me the opportunity to play in the primary school league with Willard Wheatley although I was attending Francis Lettsome which didn’t have a team.”
“From there, Vincent Samuel – the then development coach at the BVIFA and my club coach [while with] the Ballstars – also helped me a lot technically as has the current national coach, Avondale Williams.”
Ceasar made his international debut at the age of 16 in a tournament in the Dominican Republic.
“The national team were training to go to Santo Domingo and luckily for me, I had a BVI passport so was selected as FIFA had just introduced a new ruling on eligibility. We lost both games in the tournament but it was a great experience.”
Cesar was made captain in a Caribbean Cup match against St Vincent in 2016.
“I was just handed the captains band. I was in shock, but honoured and very happy to receive it. Becoming captain gave me more responsibility and leadership skills which also helped me once I became the college team captain.”
Troy has some great words of advice for the upcoming younger players looking to follow in his footsteps.
“Put God first, then discipline. [Put] a lot of discipline and a lot of hard work not just in your game but also in your school work. If you get to college the only way you can get to play is by doing your school work. Off the pitch, work hard and the coaches will always give you a chance.”
He supports Chelsea in the English Premier League and recommends all young players to watch as many games on TV or live as they can so they have a better understanding of the game and get better themselves by emulating their heroes. He also encouraged youths to always train and play as best as they can because they never know who is watching.
“Most of the Caribbean countries have youth teams and they all need to get more playing time and exposure, whether as a team or by attending academies around the world. A lot more competition for the youths improves the standard and gives opportunity to the players.”
One day, Ceasar would like to make it as a professional player and sees college as a great way of achieving that goal.
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