BRANTFORD/SIX NATIONS – How good do you have to be to be invited to attend the same elite soccer camp in Lisbon Portugal that the Cristiano Renaldo once trained at?
Whatever the answer to that question is, 13-year-old soccer prodigy, Dorian Shannon fits the bill.
Grandma, Gayle Myke and mom Jessica Shannon, are proud beyond words, and rightfully so, and shared the info with Two Row Times last week.
Thirteen-year-old Dorian Shannon, of the Cayuga Nation, living in Brantford, will be attending one of the sport’s most prestigious Soccer Academies in Lisbon, Portugal this summer. Dorian graduated from the Brantford Galaxy soccer system.
He currently plays for One Touch Soccer (OTS) Soccer Academy as a midfielder on the boys U13 team, in the CAF league — The Canadian Academy of Futbol. He and his team were finalists in the first annual Biosteel Cup at the TFC training facility located in Downsview Park, this past August long weekend Dorian was named as one of the top 11 players of the weekend tournament.
The Cayuga prodigy is one of 14 youths from Canada invited to Sporting — Lisbon soccer club in Portugal for youth tryouts and will receive daily training with some of the world’s best trainers.
He is a multi-sport athlete who also excels at lacrosse. He just finished the summer season with Six Nations Bantam 1 team. He has also recently started boxing training with his Grandfather Jack Blasdell who is a boxing coach at Bell City Boxing in Brantford.
“This is an amazing opportunity for Dorian and he is very grateful and thankful,” says Jessica. “This is a step in the direction of reaching his dream to be a professional soccer player.”
But it takes a lot more than talent to succeed. That raw talent needs to be nurtured and that takes the dedication and sacrifices of parents and family to keep doing whatever is necessary to give him the best opportunities. In this case, as in the development of other elite athletes, it takes untold hours in a car going to and from games and practices, out of town and out of the region sometimes. It also takes money, and lots of it to enroll with elite teams and that usually comes out of the pockets of parents that can do it or have a family willing to run lot of fundraisers.
Monday, Grandmother Gayle hosted a spaghetti fundraiser at Six Nations to help with the enormous cost of the Lisbon trip.
“The Six Nations community has already been a great support with donations and to get spaghetti dinner fundraisers his Grandmother has put together at Six Nations,” says Jessica. “We are so proud of him.”