Three nights a week, Joses Chukwu comes home from school, eats a quick dinner, does his homework then heads to Toronto to practice his soccer skills with the Toronto Football Club (TFC) Academy.
The 12-year-old who lives in Bradford with his family- mom, dad and three younger brothers- is a quiet, humble, hardworking young man with dreams of one day playing professional soccer.
He plays the position of striker and wears the #10.
Just this summer he was selected by the TFC to train in their eight week select program with 85 other players in the Greater Toronto Area, including four others from Bradford. From there, he was recruited to play with the ‘A’ Squad, which includes three practices and one game per week.
“I am excited,” Joses said.
Joses has been playing the sport since he was three years old and has been a member of Bradford United Soccer Academy since its opening last fall.
His father, Richard, says they decided to join the academy, started by Bradford resident, David Lontini, after learning about their training sessions with TFC.
“We are happy to have this opportunity,” said Richard.
Lontini is a longtime soccer player and coach. It was his goal to create opportunities for young soccer players to train on a professional level and was the main reason for opening the academy. His soccer training program includes having trainers from the TFC coming to Bradford once a week and to work with the players.
He is excited and proud of Joses and all his accomplishments thus far.
“They are looking for players who can keep up with the intensity and who can think and are smart with and without the ball,” he added about the TFC Academy team.
This summer, Joses will have the opportunity to travel with the TFC team when they play the 19 other North American teams in the Major League Soccer organization.
In order to become a player with the TFC, players must be 16 years of age. However, Joses is eligible for a pre-contract when he turns 14.
The Bradford United Soccer Academy has two coaches and is actively looking for more to add to their roster. To learn more about the soccer training programs and coaching opportunities available, check out the Bradford United Soccer Academy website here.