WHO IS SHAQUEEL ISAACS?

I am 17 years old. I live in Athlone, Cape Town. I attend Pinelands High School, currently doing matric. I play for Jean Marc Ithier (JMI) Academy and I have been playing first team soccer at my school for the past three years consecutively. I am hard working and diligent. I am an aspiring young footballer working towards making it as a professional footballer.

TELL US WHEN AND WHERE DID YOUR FOOTBALL  JOURNEY BEGIN?

I started playing soccer when I was 6 years old at Thornhill FC, at Rygate Community Field. They weren’t the best team but the club location was convenient and all games were played at one venue. After 5 years I moved to Rygersdal FC at the start of my second year of u/11. That was the first time I ever played super league football. I continued to play for Rygersdal FC till then end of my second year u/15. In 2015 I moved to JMI Academy. I was coached by Batandwa Ntsebeza. The team at JMI was a really good team, in that year we finished as Cape Town-Tygerberg FA cup finalists and league runner’s up.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE PLAYING INVESTEC DREAMPLAY TOURNAMENT AND YOUR TIME AT FC CAPE TOWN U/17.

Early 2016 I played in the Investec Dreamplay Super 16 tournament representing JMI Academy. I was one of the 20 players chosen from the tournament to make up the Investec Elite Academy squad that was going to represent FC Cape Town u/17 team. Playing at FC Cape Town was hard work but it made me grow as a player. We trained four times a week and played matches on a Saturday. The training was tough, they drilled us. I scored on my debut. I couldn’t afford to have bad games because I knew there were players waiting for me to slip up and take my place. All our games were played at Nyanga Stadium and we played 90 minute matches. We were a u/17 team playing in a men’s league. At first it was a bit intimidating but we never backed down.

At the end of the season I got chosen for the Nyanga District team, we made it to the semi-finals of the District games. I also got the chance to train with the FC Cape Town ABC Mostepe team.

Sadly, FC Cape Town and Investec discontinued the programme, so I went to go back to JMI Academy for 2017.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE IN THE BAYHILL AND ENGEN KNOCKOUT TOURNAMENTS

My Bayhill experience early this year wasn’t the best, we never made it out of the group stages. I felt that we could’ve done much better but I guess it just wasn’t our year.

My Engen Knockout Challenge experience wasn’t that great either because I was still recovering from an injury and the coaches didn’t want to take any chances with my injury. I ended up only playing one game.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS AT THE SA SCHOOLS TOURNAMENT IN EAST LONDON OVER THE YEARS

Our school was invited to the East London SA Schools Tournament for the first time in 2015. We won the tournament each year; we are the only school to do it and to do it consecutively. I scored the winner in the finals this year. I was named one of the best players of the tournament, made the All Star Team and  finished joint top goal scorer.

WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE AMBITIONS? 

I have ambitions of one day playing for Cape Town City FC and helping the club win lots of trophies. I would like to follow in my idol Benni Mccarthy’s footsteps by winning trophies in different leagues across Europe and getting experience there.  But ultimately I would like to settle down with my home town team Cape Town City FC and help them be the best in Africa.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU LIKE TO GIVE TO FELLOW UP AND COMING FOOTBALLERS?

I do not have a lot of advice to give as I am still young. But I would urge them to do their best and work hard. Don’t settle for less. Don’t feel restricted, enjoy the game work hard and always deliver your best.


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