Volume 12 Week 5

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(Posted 2:30 p.m., Oct. 25)
Former Cobra joins Portuguese soccer academy

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Former Cumberland Cobra Thierry Condé is turning heads and opening eyes playing at a soccer academy in Portugal. Fred Sherwin/Photo

Former Cumberland Cobra Thierry Condé, 15, is living every young soccer player’s dream playing for an prestigious academy club in Portugal – and it happened almost entirely by chance.

Thierry was visiting Portugal with his family in July when a friend they had met suggested he attend a tryout for the local soccer academy three days before they were scheduled to return to Canada. It turned out to be perfect timing.

Thierry attended the tryout for AD Ponte da Barca near Porto and impressed the coach enough to get an invitation to return in late August for their training camp.

“The coach was really impressed with his play especially for a kid who wasn’t from Europe. He thought he had a lot of quality,” says Thierry’s father, Carlos Condé.

The Condés returned to Portugal on August 23 and Thierry once again shone scoring two goals in a 5-2 pre-season loss.

“The coach had him play an attacking midfield position which really allowed Thierry’s to show what he can do,” says the senior Condé.

After the two week stint at training camp, Thierry was invited to join the academy full-time starting in October. It was both an easy and difficult decision. It meant moving to a foreign country, far from home, both for himself and his mother Julie.

“We made the decision as a family, but I gave Thierry the absolute freedom to decide what he wanted to do,” says Condé.

Both mother and son left for Portugal on Sept. 23. They are renting an apartment and Thierry is attending a local school where he is studying Portuguese along with his regular classes. He’s done well on the soccer pitch and has even caught the attention of several Division 1 clubs in Portugal which have invited him to tryouts in February and March.

“He’s doing really, really well over there,” says Condé. “He’s fitting in with the rest of his team. He’s acclimatizing himself to the local culture and things are really working out well.”

Thierry began kicking a ball around when he was just three years old. He joined the Cumberland Cobras program at seven and moved up through their system until U10 when he made the jump to the Ottawa Nepean Futuro soccer academy.

He spent three years with the Futuro and then decided to take some time off away from soccer to play other sports.

“I think he was a little burnt out from playing so much soccer, but it ended up being good for him because he ended up missing it,” says Condé.

Thierry eventually rejoined the Cobras and played on the U14 team last year. Then in the spring he joined the Kevin Nelson Soccer Academy in the west end and played four games with them before going to Portugal. And the rest, as they say, is history.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)

 

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