David’s football (soccer) journey from Kumba to Iowa
I started playing football when I was like 4 or 5 years old. Back then we used to play with no shoes in the streets of our quarter. It’s not that I didn’t have shoes, because I did. I just didn’t own soccer shoes back then and neither did anyone else in my area. So usually we took our shoes off so we don’t destroy them and later get a beating by our parents. We used to just come together, a group of kids around 5 to 10 of us, and just organize games and play for hours. We loved the game of football so much that we didn’t need people organizing stuff for us. We just went out and played.
I played a few high level competitions between the age of 12 and 14. The Brasseries Top Cup was the highest – or at least most “organized” youth football showcase in Cameroon at the time. We had to walk more than 2 miles to and from the field to play games everyday for 2 weeks. Because we played everyday, it was just so fun. Playing with talented kids from all over the city was really cool. At the end of the tournament the organizers select the best team of the tournament, and some kids get to attend the Brasseries Academy in Douala. The only terrible thing about the experience is that many parents bribe the coaches so their kids get picked. My father would never do something like that, so I was never selected.
The last 2 years of my playing experience in Kumba before coming to the US were both good and bad, but I prefer to think about the positives. I regularly trained with my dad’s team of Veterans. Every weekend we went out to play, with games on Sunday mornings. Playing with older guys gave me the chance to increase my skills and I got some good experience which is definitely still helping me now.
Since arriving in the U.S. and joining Arsenal FC of PA, I had the great experience of playing under good coaches who helped me to identify what I needed to work on. For me, that was the best thing. Now that I am in Iowa, I know without a doubt this is definitely the next step towards my biggest dream.
I can’t say I’m not excited, but saying I am probably isn’t accurate. I feel weird, like I’m in a deep sleep dreaming. I mean I’m not surprised this is happening, because I knew it would. I was confident. But the feeling you get when it actually happens is just too difficult to explain I have huge goals for this year, and thoughts of them are just revolving in my head. But with every thought that comes into my mind, the more confident I get because I am DAVID!