Soccer World Off The Pitch – Youeil Shol (Olympic)

IMG_2812In this week’s edition of Off The Pitch, brought to you courtesy of Soccer World with stores at Stafford on the northside and Mt Gravatt on the southside of Brisbane, we catch up with the leading scorer from the NPL after the first four rounds played.

Making the most of the opportunities he has been presented with after being promoted from the youth squad this year is Olympic’s Youeil Shol.

QSN: How were you introduced to the game and who was your main football influence?

YS: It all started with Yohans, my older brother. When I was around 10 years old, he was constantly training and coming home with all these stories about what happened at football. Me being the jealous younger brother, I had to see what all the fuss was about so eventually (with a lot of pestering) he brought me along to one of his training sessions and that night I signed up. So I guess you could say Yohans was my main football influence.

QSN: Tell us about your football playing history.

YS: My first club was actually Olympic between under 10s and under 12s. I then left to go to Holland Park Hawks playing from under 13s to under 16s and finally I came back to Olympic when the NPL begun in under 18s.

QSN: What opportunities has football given you?

YS: It’s given me fulfilling life experiences that translate into my everyday life really. Football has a way of bringing people around the world together and I’m grateful that its allowed me to make life long friends.

QSN: How are you enjoying playing at Olympic FC?

YS: I love it. It’s an all round great club from the head coaches to the canteen staff, everyone treats you with mutual respect. In terms of playing for the first team, I’m really lucky to have players like Kazuya Ito, Danny Byrne and Matt Mundy always offering advice on what I do right and most importantly how I can improve.

QSN: How does head coach Jim Bellas compare to your previous coaches?

YS: I’m fortunate enough to have had many great coaches like Jim, Bobby Hamilton, and Stefano Salvatori. However the coach I have to give most credit to is Tim Brown.

In my first two years at Olympic, I didn’t have my car licence so even though Tim was the first team coach alongside Jim, he’d wait around for me to finish youth training and drive Kazuya and I home. He’s also give me tips on what I have to do to break into the first team.

QSN: How did it feel to score your first National Premier Leagues goal?

YS: I felt like I needed more goals. If scoring goals means helping my team win then I’m going to work as hard as I can to do that.

QSN: What are your greatest individual and team moments in football?

YS: Individually would probably be earning best and fairest for the youth team last year. My greatest team moment is definitely travelling to Cairns and Townsville where I had a great experience.

QSN: Who is the best player you have played with or against in your career?

YS: Kazuya Ito. It’s probably the most frustrating thing to be in the opposite team during training, you literally can’t touch him when he’s on the ball. Plus I haven’t seen a player in the NPL with better technique than him.

QSN: What do you do with yourself away from the football pitch?

YS: Either studying or working. I’m in my third year studying finance and human resource at Griffith Nathan and I work for Woolworths as a deli boy.

QSN: If you weren’t a footballer, what other sport would you play?

YS: Definitely Tennis. I’m not very good but still love it.

QSN: Time for 5 rapid fire questions! Your favourite drink, music, food, football idol and which football club do you support?

YS: Fruit smoothie or a vanilla ‘Up and Go’, whatever sounds good, Mum’s pasta, Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United.

Thanks for taking time out to talk to us Youeil and here’s hoping you can remain on top of the Golden Boot standings come the end of the season.

Youeil’s Olympic side will be hoping to bounce back from their 4-1 pre-Easter defeat to Brisbane Roar but it won’t be an easy task travelling to the Cleveland Showgrounds on Friday night to take on Redlands who will be smarting from a loss to the SWQ Thunder in the last round. Kickoff is at 7pm.

Youeil Shol

Nationality – Sudanese

Age – 19

Nickname – Blager

Height – 6”4

Preferred Position – Anywhere in the forward line

Career Highlight – Playing against Brisbane Roar in their pre-season friendly in 2013.