My name is Yianni Tsilfides and I am a player for the U16 White.
I started playing soccer around the age of 4-5 because my dad told me to pick up a sport so I could stay active and in shape. I’ve been playing ever since. I play anywhere in the midfield and fit many different roles on both offense and defense.
I watch soccer a lot, I mainly watch teams like Manchester City, Barcelona, Bayern, Liverpool and more. I think watching soccer is one of the most important things about developing as a player. It helps with game awareness, making runs, and where to be on the field. My favorite player as of now is Kevin De Bruyne because I think he is one of the, if not the, best center mid in the world right now. He makes amazing passes, has a great shot, and many skills. He also plays for my favorite team (Manchester City) so that makes it even better.
There was a period of time where I couldn’t juggle a soccer ball when I had no touch or control over the ball. I started to practice juggling outside every single day until I eventually was able to do 300 consecutive juggles in a row. At the time, when I couldn’t juggle, I felt very stressed and upset with myself, but I eventually got it and when I did, it felt great.
Training on my own is something I do all the time. I often go to the field and set up cones and drills for myself to do so I can work on my skill, my touch, my weak foot, my shot, and more. I practice almost every single day whether it be on my own or with my team and I recommend it because the more you do on your own time, the better player you become. If you train hard, you will reach the next level.
My favorite thing about soccer is distributing and passing the ball. I think that a perfect pass is just as good as a goal. Creating plays and quick combinations are such an important part of the game. Even if you aren’t the one who scored, if you created a pass that lead to that goal, you and everybody else who was involved in that play, will receive credit for it. Sometimes you don’t, but it still feels good knowing you contributed.
A lot of players my age want to quit soccer because they choose to not put in the time or effort to compete at this level and age. I personally have never wanted to quit soccer. This sport is my passion and the thing I love most in life. I wouldn’t ever want to quit it. Players should want to work hard because at this level, the competition gets harder to play against.