Dubai student dreams of playing soccer for Canada one day

The captain of St Mary’s Catholic High School U16 football team has lived most of her life in Ontario and hopes to one day wear the maple leaf jersey.

MANCHESTER // Chantel Pereira. Canadian football fans may wish to make a note of the name.

The 16-year-old St Mary’s Catholic High School pupil has lived most of her life in Ontario and hopes to one day wear the maple leaf jersey.

Captain of St Mary’s under-16s, Chantel is a nimble midfielder with quick feet and an eye for a searching pass.

However, she is far from complacent.

“I really need to work on my power,” she smiles. “At the moment my kicks are not that strong.”

For Chantel and her teammates, the trip to Manchester after becoming the Dubai Schools Football Cup Girls U-16 champions was an unexpected treasure.

“If you had told us before the tournament that we would be coming to Manchester United, we would have been like .... yeah, right.

“We thought Winchester would win as they had such a strong team. When the final whistle blew we all had goosebumps. The adrenalin rush was so strong.”

So how does ths young Chelsea FC fan (it would still be Liverpool if her hero Fernando Torres had not switched allegiance) rate her chances of representing Canada?

“About 70 per cent,” she replies, “maybe 85 per cent after today.”

Time will tell.

newsdesk@thenational.ae

Published: May 6, 2014 04:00 AM

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