2:30 p.m., Oct. 25)
Former Cobra joins Portuguese soccer academy
By Fred Sherwin
Cumberland Cobra Thierry Condé, 15, is living every young
soccer player’s dream playing for an prestigious academy
club in Portugal – and it happened almost entirely by
Cumberland Cobra Thierry Condé is turning
heads and opening eyes playing at a soccer
academy in Portugal. Fred Sherwin/Photo
was visiting Portugal with his family in July when a friend
they had met suggested he attend a tryout for the local
soccer academy three days before they were scheduled to
return to Canada. It turned out to be perfect timing.
attended the tryout for AD Ponte da Barca near Porto and
impressed the coach enough to get an invitation to return
in late August for their training camp.
coach was really impressed with his play especially for
a kid who wasn’t from Europe. He thought he had a lot
of quality,” says Thierry’s father, Carlos Condé.
Condés returned to Portugal on August 23 and Thierry once
again shone scoring two goals in a 5-2 pre-season loss.
coach had him play an attacking midfield position which
really allowed Thierry’s to show what he can do,” says
the senior Condé.
the two week stint at training camp, Thierry was invited
to join the academy full-time starting in October. It
was both an easy and difficult decision. It meant moving
to a foreign country, far from home, both for himself
and his mother Julie.
made the decision as a family, but I gave Thierry the
absolute freedom to decide what he wanted to do,” says
mother and son left for Portugal on Sept. 23. They are
renting an apartment and Thierry is attending a local
school where he is studying Portuguese along with his
regular classes. He’s done well on the soccer pitch and
has even caught the attention of several Division 1 clubs
in Portugal which have invited him to tryouts in February
doing really, really well over there,” says Condé. “He’s
fitting in with the rest of his team. He’s acclimatizing
himself to the local culture and things are really working
began kicking a ball around when he was just three years
old. He joined the Cumberland Cobras program at seven
and moved up through their system until U10 when he made
the jump to the Ottawa Nepean Futuro soccer academy.
spent three years with the Futuro and then decided to
take some time off away from soccer to play other sports.
think he was a little burnt out from playing so much soccer,
but it ended up being good for him because he ended up
missing it,” says Condé.
eventually rejoined the Cobras and played on the U14 team
last year. Then in the spring he joined the Kevin Nelson
Soccer Academy in the west end and played four games with
them before going to Portugal. And the rest, as they say,
story was made possible thanks to the generous support of
our local business partners.)