Emmanuel Dolo who originally hails from Liberia moved to St. John’s as a six year old and is presently in Ottawa where both him and fellow Newfoundlander, Michael O’Brien are currently a part of the Ottawa Fury FC Academy Program. The Ottawa Fury FC is a professional club that compete in the North American Soccer League, which is the 2nd tier of pro soccer in North America. Dolo was chosen the NLSA youth Player of the Year in 2014. In 2014 he attended the U-15 National camp. He also attended the MLS Vancouver Whitecaps trial camp. For some time now I have been connected with Emmanuel through social media and the past week I touched base with him and got his take on several questions.
1.How did you get started in soccer?
I first got into soccer when my parents signed me up for house league soccer.
2. Was soccer the only sport you played while growing up?
Growing up as a kid I use to play soccer a lot and every now and then I'll play basketball with friends.
3.Did playing other sports help improve your skills as a soccer player?
Basketball helped me a lot with soccer because of the footwork, running and also jumping.
4. Who was some local soccer role models you looked up to when you were growing up?
Growing up, I looked up to Mike Power, Ian Osmond and Dragon when it comes to soccer because they use to always give me advice what to do both on and off the field and they would let me know what I'm doing wrong and what can help me improve my game.
5. Who is your favorite professional soccer player and soccer team?
My favorite soccer player I'll have to say Ronaldo because he's so quick on the ball and has great feet and a wonderful shot. My favorite soccer team is Real Madrid.
6.What advice would you give to young players who want to become professional soccer players?
The advice I'll give young players will be never give up on your dreams and always push your self to the fullest. It's never to late to make it. Always be a leader and always be sportsman like
7. How did you begin to plan for your professional soccer career?
I started planning my professional career when I started playing soccer and watching and saying to myself I want to be like him.
8.What was life as a “rookie” like ? What were the emotions? How did you stay focused?
Life as a rookie was pretty good. I mean I was playing against kids my age and older but I'm use to it because it was like that in Africa. The emotions were good I was always happy while playing soccer because I love the beautiful game. I stay focused by playing my own game and just staying grounded.
9. What are some of the lessons you’ve learned on your journey?
I learn a lot of lessons on the way and the most important one was always train to win and practice like the way you'll play in a game. Be respectful to the game coach even if you don't agree with what he's saying and also make sacrifices.
10. What are your goals? Short-term? Long-term?
My short term goals is to stay in Ottawa to improve my games as a player and my long term goals is to go to a MLS Academy in the States or even a pro academy in Europe.
Something I will like to add is that I'm very thankful for the support from the Osmond family and my family for believing in me every step of the way and never giving up on me. I also like to say thank you to the FAA family for everything and everybody else who help me on my journey.