(Joshua Wilson (R) with fellow BFC Soccer Schools Graduate Aarav Gharat. The duo joined BFC Soccer Schools in early 2015, and have progressed through the youth ranks and are part of the club’s Residential Facility in Bellary.)
We Spoke To Wilson Kelly, The Father Of BFC Soccer Schools Graduate Joshua Wilson, Who Is Currently A Part Of The Club’s Residential Academy in Bellary…
In 2016, 10-year-old Joshua Wilson came across a poster calling for children from his Clarence School to join BFC Soccer Schools. Within a few days, he was strapped up and playing football with over 60 children at the Clarence School Ground, in Cox Town, watched keenly by the club’s Youth Coaches. After a year with the Grassroots Program, Joshua was then inducted into the club’s youth system, as part of the U13 Academy team. Through his journey from classroom to academy and now the Inspire Institute of Sport facility in Bellary, Joshua’s father believes that his son has grown as a footballer and as a person.
“It wasn’t an easy decision to let Joshua go to the IIS facility. He has lived and stayed with us for almost 14 years and to suddenly face the crude reality of missing him was very daunting. His absence in the family was bound to leave a trail of separation anxiety at home and this perhaps was the toughest decision that I had to take. It wasn’t very easy to convince my wife, my parents and other well-wishers, but as a father, I wanted to give Joshua a leg up and set him on the road to success,” Wilson recalls.
After an association that has stretched nearly half a decade, Wilson says that he has seen enough to believe that Bengaluru FC Soccer Schools is the place to be for any child with an intention to pursue the sport as a career.
“We couldn’t have asked for more during Joshua’s five years with BFC, who I believe are India’s most organized and successful club. We sent him into the Grassroots level, and now to see him transition and shape into the player and person he is today is purely because of the way the club, coaches and the system that has guided and mentored him. With a brilliant bunch of coaches who constantly strive to nurture the kids, the club has inculcated such positive attitudes preparing the young minds with ‘a never give up and a will to win’ attitude.”
Despite his son being several hundred kilometres away from him, Wilson believes that he has little to worry as the coaches and tutors at the IIS ensure that Joshua receives the right amount of leisure and recreation, in addition to his studies and football.
“It’s quite natural for us to miss him, yes, but we have little to worry about. All those unwarranted distractions are major influences for children today at home and there’s every possibility of the young minds getting polluted. In that sense, we are very happy that Joshua doesn’t even have time for all such interferences, but to focus on his passion, the reason he is there. We are in touch with him on a regular basis, because communication is key and technology has made it easier to cope with the distance. We connect with him over the phone regularly during a stipulated time that the Management has allocated. I believe this is important.”
Looking back, Wilson believes that there have been several moments during his son’s time at Bengaluru FC that made him take the decision to allow him to pursue a career in the sport. “I remember the moment he was selected into the BFC Academy, he was over the moon. Since then he’s been allowed to be a ball-boy at the games, he went to Mumbai with the team to play games against RFYS and FC Goa, which was a lot of exposure for a child his age. The most amazing moment for me, as a parent, was when I cheered him on in Goa during the U13 I-League last year. The team reached the final and I was so proud to be in the stands watching my son play.”
Wilson believes that any child with an affection for sport should be allowed to pursue it until they so desire. “I urge all the parents reading this to allow their children to find, discover and succeed in a path they choose. Children must be allowed to dream, and as parents, our duty is to encourage them and only guide them. I want to thank the management for helping Joshua in every way they have since his first days with the club and I wish the team all the success in their tournaments.”