Drogheda’s shining soccer star: Joshua Cole
2017-02-01 14:53:02 -
By Oreoluwa Aremo

Most teenagers have no clear idea of what they want to do or who they want to be when they grow older. Not so for Joshua Cole, whose future in professional soccer is already on track.

The 13-year-old from Drogheda grew up in love with the ‘beautiful game’ and by the age of nine was already determined to do what he could to reach the top flight of the sport.

Four years on, and that dream is remarkably close to reality as Joshua prepares for a trip with his local club to Barcelona this October, where he hopes to be scouted by one of the youth teams at the heart of European soccer.

Joshua is currently playing with the Drogheda Boys U-13 side, after starting out with Dublin club Home Farm. 

“We are first in the league at the moment, top of the table,” he says, adding that he and his teammates are hoping to be promoted to the next division by the end of the season.

One of the less motivating aspects of the game is the occasional racism. “I don’t think there is any black person that hasn’t received racial abuse from anyone on the pitch,” he says. “You just talk back to them with what you can do on the pitch. Show them what you can do instead of saying what they say to you back to them.”

That pragmatic attitude has led Joshua to several sporting awards, most recently from Home Farm as their player of the year, and has since become integral to the success of Drogheda Boys, scoring three goals with two assists to take them to the Friendship Cup.
These achievements have only motivated him to do more and be more, he says.

“Playing matches against people who are better than me just motivates me to keep working hard, to do as much as I can, and to become better.”

Coupled with the motivation he gets on the soccer pitch, the outgoing Nigerian-Irish youngster is inspired by his parents. 

“I remember when my dad told me, ’Don’t worry when you become a star, I will be your manager’,” he says with a smile.

Another inspiration is Marcus Rashford, a forward for English Premier League club Manchester United and an England international while still being in his teens.

“Rashford is young like me and doing well for himself,” says Joshua with natural humility.

Despite the naysayers who remind that a professional soccer career is a rare achievement, the Saint Oliver’s Community College pupil – who likes to play the piano in his spare time – remains undaunted in his ambitions.

Ireland, however, does not have enough opportunities for aspiring soccer talents like himself. 

“We need more scouts from different countries,” he says, “we need more teams, better chances, something to look up to.”

Oreoluwa Aremo is a multimedia journalist, 90s enthusiast, lifestyle blogger and a turtle who finds comfort in its shell kind-of-lady. Want to connect with her? Twitter: teevaa_ Instagram: teevaa_
TAGS : Sport Ireland Drogheda Joshua Cole Oreoluwa Aremo Soccer Drogheda Boys Dublin Club Home Farm Under thirteen
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