Elite U-15 member Josiah Wilson dreams of World Cup stage

The best National Under 15 male footballers are all following the World Cup taking place in Russia. Some are rooting for their favourites but more than that, they are keenly observing the different aspects of the game as displayed by the best teams in the world. They know that the only thing that stands between them and the dream of playing on that stage in perhaps eight years, is the will to give everything and having the belief that it is actually possible.

Fourteen-year-old Josiah Wilson of Belmont is among the thirty odd players currently on the training pitch four days per week at the TTFA Home of Football in Couva, as a member of the TTFA/NLCB Elite Development Squad currently being overseen by head coach Stuart Charles Fevrier and his coaching staff that includes the likes of former national players Leonson Lewis and Clyde Leon.

“It is an amazing feeling because my years of growing up I always wanted to be a footballer and I always wanted to make the national team and help them make the World Cup. The experience with this team is showing me that it is never easy, it is always a challenge. First you have to make the team by working hard and then if you want to stay on the team you have to work even harder,” Wilson told TTFA Media.

He would have been just two years at the time of T&T’s appearance at the 2006 World Cup Finals in Germany. There is one thing that he can recall as a toddler and based on stories he’s heard later on, that being that the  impact of qualification for a World Cup is immense.

Stuart Charles-Fevrier talks to a few of his players at training last Thursday. Photo at top shows Josiah Wilson./TTFA Media

“I know that everybody was really happy when the national team made it to the World Cup. I couldn’t remember much but I heard afterwards that it brought a lot of joy to the people. I just want to carry my country back to that stage one day so people could be happy to support the national team there again and that our football can return to a high level,” said Wilson who played for Caledonia AIA in the last Pro League youth season.

About the current TTFA Elite programme, Wilson described the setup as one that is providing a good platform for players like him to progress within an environment conducive to football development.

“It is an amazing feeling because in my years of growing up I always wanted to be a footballer and I always wanted to make the national team and help them make the World Cup. The experience with this team is showing me that it is never easy, it is always a challenge. First you have to make the team by working hard and then if you want to stay on the team you have to work even harder,” Wilson told TTFA Media. “We are receiving training both on and off the field that is aimed at making us better players.”

He would have been just two years at the time of T&T’s appearance at the 2006 World Cup Finals in Germany. There is one thing that he can recall as a toddler and based on stories he’s heard later on. The significant impact of qualification for a World Cup is immense.

“I know that everybody was really happy when the national team made it to the World Cup. I couldn’t remember much but I heard afterwards that it brought a lot of joy to the people. I just want to carry my country back to that stage one day so people could be happy to support the national team there again and that our football can return to a high level,” Wilson said.

About the current programme, Wilson described the setup as one that is providing a good platform for players like him to make the step up.

“One of the joys of  training is that it’s a family here in this squad. We joke and laugh but we know when it’s time to get serious for training. He (Fevrier) is a very good coach. He knows everyone can play,so he wants to work on our tactical game because on the international level it’s more about tactics. They are trying to provide us with the tools that we need to develop ourselves as young men and players and hopefully we can turn out to be successful in years to come,” Wilson said.

Wilson’s favourite team in Russia is the Lionel Messi-led Argentina. But he is making it part of his daily schedule to also take in the performances of the other competing teams  for the sake of his football education.

“When you look at the World Cup, the games are being played at a very high tempo. I like that none of the teams are being overpowered. The small teams are giving a strong showing and the bigger teams are not having an easy time.

“All the teams are playing together. They wait until they have an opening before they go for it. And that is what coach Stuart is trying to teach us in the sessions. When we first came to this squad, it was more of a one-man show as every player was trying to show themselves. But now we are all playing as a team.”

Wilson believes that leadership and success is practiced not so much in words as in attitude and actions. So far he is staying on the right path.

“My father brought me up in a way that I should not be an ignorant person or player especially to the referees or coaches. I have learnt that dedication and focus is important. I think all of us here in the programme are hoping to be that way. My ambition is to help my country make it to the World Cup and also to be the best player that I can possibly be. As a team I know we can work towards that and achieve our dreams in the future,” Wilson said.

NB: The 2022 World Cup takes place in Qatar. The 2026 World Cup will be jointly hosted by United States, Mexico and Canada. By then Josiah hopes to be a 22-year-old that has already played for T&T at the U-15, U-17 and Under 20 Level and knocking on the doors of Senior Team selection for 2026 Qualification.