My name is Hansly Félix-Malonga. I’m 24 years old, born in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada I currently play as a winger for Club Deportivo Covadonga in the Tercera Division in Spain. Growing up in Canada, it was evident that I would start playing organized ice hockey from the young age of 5 until I was 13 years old. Soccer was always my passion, as I would always play on the street with friends or alone, always having a ball in hand since I was born. I would sleep with a soccer ball at night, and play everywhere in the house. At the time, my mother didn’t know where to sign me up to play club soccer, so I didn’t start playing on an organized team until I was 9 years old. Until then, I would play at the community center on Wednesdays with boys and girls. Although I started soccer pretty late compared to others, I played 2 years above my age group with Ottawa Royals SC after one of my hockey friends told me that his soccer team was missing a player. I remember arriving to my 1st practice in basketball shoes, not having the proper footwear. As I played older age groups and did well, at 13 years old, I had to make the choice of choosing between hockey or soccer, as I started playing very high levels in both sports. I was captain of my hockey team, and I was about to play provincial soccer. I ultimately quit hockey and I signed with a team named FC Capital United, one of the top 2 club teams in my city, playing in the highest division for my age group in Ontario. This is when I started to dream of one day playing soccer in Spain. I then signed with Ottawa Fury FC’s academy from the age of 15 until 18. I was blessed to start having some experience training with the first team many times and playing in national tournaments all over the USA in the youth ranks. Ottawa Fury FC then decided to scrap the academy, despite us bringing much success. I no longer had a club to play soccer. At 18 years old and no club to play for, I took my chances and went to an open tryout for Montreal Impact’s USL team after my mother insisted for me to go. After doing very well over 3 open tryouts, I got chosen to then train with the club, along with another player and a goalkeeper, out of 200+ trialists. Unfortunately, after training with the team for 1 month, Montreal Impact decided to scrap their USL team as well. It was a cool experience, rubbing shoulders with players such as Didier Drogba, whom was on the MLS team at the time. At this point I was losing hope, not knowing what to do. I then got the opportunity to go play for DC United’s U23 team over the summer of 2017, where I met a good friend, whom played a part in me coming to Spain. After that summer with DC United U23, I was blessed to be able to come back to Ottawa and I started training with Ottawa Fury FC, in the USL. Thankfully, I was able to impress the coaches and the manager (Julian de Guzman), and they invited me to come back for the 2018 season. I learned a lot during that 2018 season, playing with players whom had careers in La Liga, the English Premier League, Bundesliga, and other top competitions as well. Learning from these players immensely helped my development as a soccer player, but most importantly as a man. At 20 years old, I finally made my professional debut with Ottawa Fury FC against Montreal Impact in a cup match. I was the first and only one from the Fury FC academy to ever make his full professional debut with the first team. By God’s grace, I was named Man of The Match, playing as a Right Back, which I wasn’t accustomed to normally playing. Playing against top players like Bacary Sagna & Piatti, was like a dream for me. There is no better feeling in professional soccer than playing for your city, in front of your friends and family, along with 10-12 thousand people cheering you on as you do what you love. This helped me get some interests from clubs; some in France, Brazil, USA, and from the new Canadian Premier League, which started in 2019. Unfortunately, nothing came from those interests, and I also wasn’t re-signed to play with Fury FC for the following 2019 season. At 21 years old, not playing at the pro level and needing money to help keep my dream alive, I started to work over night shifts at Home Depot and played with Ottawa South United in League 1 Ontario, a semipro league. We were the worst team in the whole league, having not won once at all during the 16 game season. This was a difficult time for me, as I was no longer playing professionally, having to play semipro, I felt like I was regressing. This was something I had never been through in my life. But, I was also learning, as I was more of a leader in this team and someone that the younger players looked up to, asking me questions and coming to me for advice, so I grew a lot more as a man. After a good season in 2019 in League 1 Ontario, I got some interest from teams in the Oceania (Australia, New Zealand). So I signed with Melville United, in New Zealand’s 1st division, for the 2020 season. The season was cancelled due to the pandemic, so I had to return to Canada. It was a blessing in disguise for me, as my friend connected me with Oscar, whom encouraged me to take my chances here in Spain. After much prayer, I decided to take the risk and come to Spain in October 2020. Oscar and Luis arranged trials for me, which went well, but in soccer, there are many factors that are at play when a player is on trial, other than his soccer abilities. I had gone through some trials with clubs which didn’t work out, from October to December 2020. I also would train and play some games with Oviedo City FC in between those trials. I will never forget my first game on European soil was with Oviedo City FC at CF Berron’s stadium, winning 2-1. It was a good experience to train with Oviedo City FC. I was one of the older players, so I recognized that I had to always show a good example. Although the trials weren’t working out for me, Oscar was very confident in my abilities and continued to put me in front of Tercera clubs in Asturias. This led to me getting signed by CD Mosconia for the rest of the season, after trying out with them for 2 days on January 17th, 2021. It meant so much to me to know that Oscar continued to believe in my abilities and hadn’t given up on me despite 4 clubs prior to CD Mosconia had opted not to sign me. I learned a lot that season, and it was great to be teammates with my friend, Tolu, whom had connected me with Oscar in the first place. After the season, I didn’t return to CD Mosconia. Fortunately, I had been spotted by CD Covadonga’s Asst. Coach, Arturo Martinez, a former Sporting Gijon player in his time. He had seen me training very early many times at the pitch, and he admired my work ethic. By God’s grace, he invited me to come on trial with the club in pre-season, which led me to signing for them on my 24th birthday, September 18th, 2021. It was an amazing feeling to then score on the 26th, just a few days later after being signed. To be playing for a club, one of Oviedo’s biggest clubs, which last season played in Segunda B, is such a blessing for me. Despite it being a hard season this year with a lot of obstacles, I’m constantly reminded of where I came from. First starting out playing with Oviedo City FC in Spain. Being denied by 4 Tercera clubs here in Asturias. Primarily, coming from the streets of Ottawa Canada, starting soccer much later than others, being blessed to travel the world and seeing things that many people where I’m from don’t even dream of seeing. I’m thankful for everyone whom has helped me thus far along the way on my adventurous journey. Thankfully, I’m not done yet. I never even thought I’d one day step foot in Europe, let alone play soccer here for a living. Because of this, I know that there is much more to be added to my story, the possibilities are endless when you’re persistent, faithful, thankful, humble, and most importantly when you trust in God. I hope that the young aspiring soccer players reading this, the one whom is afraid to take that risk/big jump, takes note of the persistent faith, knowing that if you keep knocking, seeking, and asking, you will never lose, you can only win. I highly recommend aspiring young soccer players to join the Oviedo City Soccer Academy and training so they can prepare you for the pro tryouts in the future.
My name is Germain Sanchez, I had the pleasure of meeting Oscar Albuquerque in the late 70s at Laurentian University in Ontario. He was a young player, and I was a young Assistant Coach at that School, where soon after, we became a powerhouse. Oscar and teammate Lou Nagy dominated the League and became members of the Canadian National Team and later went on to play in the Major Indoor Soccer League and the NSL, for several years. It has been a long time since then. At the same time, I became a Coach with the Ontario Soccer Association and Head Coach in the National Soccer League, winning the title with Toronto Italia and later with Panhellenic. In my last 25 years of Coaching, I had the privilege of starting the Varsity Program at Humber College and winning several Provincial and National Championships, becoming the best College Soccer Program in Canada. We have come a long way since them! we have more than 2 professional leagues, strong teams in Colleges, Canadian Women's Soccer are at the top in the world and won gold at the Olympics. Canada’s Men's Team qualified in first place and is going to the next World Cup in Qatar. Was it a Dream come true? I don't think so, it just took a lot of work. 20 years ago, we had one or two artificial turf fields in cities around Canada, no professional teams, very limited women’s teams and to go further, players had to look north to the USA. Players went to American Schools on partial scholarships, spending thousands of dollars and time attending schools so they improve in soccer as well as in the education of their athletes. These days our players are playing in Europe more often, training in facilities such as Oviedo City Soccer Academy in Spain. They have an opportunity to live the experience of playing, practice, and watch live professional soccer. As I said before, we have gone a long way, from playing 4-5 months of the year due to our long and cold winters, to playing on great all-weather facilities, during cold weather. Also, our young players are physically and technically better prepared, by playing all year round. Canada has several players in Europe playing in Leagues and Youth Teams. If you have the potential and the will, go for it. Aim high and good luck.
Hello Soccer friends, My name is Fausto Di Marco, born in central Italy, arriving in Canada in the early/mid 1960’s. My passion for soccer came about as a toddler on the cobblestone streets, imitating my then Juventus star number 10 Omar “El Cabezon” Sivori. Upon arriving in Toronto Canada, as I grew up, played amateur soccer there and obtained my provincial coaching license in the mid 80’s. I landed a job with the Toronto Blizzard a professional soccer team of the defunct N.A.S.L. in the role of community liason, I was a translator/guide for Roberto Bettega, formely player of Juventus F.C., who starred for the Toronto Blizzard for nearly three years. After the 1982 World Cup win by Italy, Juventus F.C. came on tour to Canada. I had the pleasure / honor to be in charge of their activities, I met the late Paolo Rossi. When years later, Paolo Rossi founded his soccer academy, I became their Canadian representative until 2017. In 2016, I had the pleasure of having my first meeting with Oscar Albuquerque. Having followed his soccer career both, in Canada and the US, we got to know each other and started a collaboration, that has turned also in a close friendship. I strongly recommend his work/personal ethics in managing the Oviedo City Soccer Academy. Oscar, while having been a good professional soccer player, has the passion and integrity to help soccer youngsters achieve their dreams. Sincerely Yours in soccer,
Fausto Di Marco
My name is Jonathan Ocquaye-Prempeh, I am 23 years old, and I was born and raised in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. I most recently played for Club Asturias de Blimea in the regional preferente of Spain. Soccer has always been such a large and beautiful part of my life. Watching the Ghana Black Stars compete in their first-ever world cup ignited this passion. Seeing national legends like Michael Essien, Stephen Appiah, and Asamoah Gyan represent Ghana very well deepened my love for the game. From that moment on, I took the time to practice or play soccer whenever I could, whether dribbling around my house or playing small-sided games with friends from my neighborhood. Unfortunately, since I was in various extracurricular activities in my youth, such as karate, swimming, and track, I couldn't play competitively. I did however play recreationally with multiple clubs in Mississauga, in addition to my elementary and middle school teams from the age of 8 to 13. Once I began high school, I craved a more challenging experience and tried out for my school varsity team as a freshman. To my surprise, I made the team and was the number one option throughout the season. With my newfound confidence in a competitive field and by the urging of my coaches and teammates, I decided to pursue competitive competition with the Erin Mills Soccer Club. Over the next three years, I played for their senior youth teams in regional and provincial leagues and tournaments throughout Ontario. Following the completion of my youth development, I sought the opportunity to continue improving my game, so I started training with the North York-based Sanjaxx Lions in League1 Ontario. At this club, I developed my knowledge of the game with the support of my coaches and teammates who had represented universities and colleges in Canada and the United States. Applying my experience from my time at Sanjaxx, I gained a position at ProStars FC, also in League1 Ontario. My time there helped further my development and helped my style of play reach new heights. From this, a former youth coach suggested I try my hand at playing in Europe, so he connected me with Oscar. I arrived in Spain in December of 2019 and began training with Real Aviles of the Tercera Division, but due to personal issues, I had to return to Canada. The arrival of Covid-19 further delayed my soccer development as most leagues in Canada weren't operating at the time. Even after a few years off soccer, Oscar encouraged me to continue pursuing soccer, and he suggested I return to Spain to play with Oviedo City Fc. In September 2021, I returned to Spain and began the preseason with Oviedo City. Playing and training with them for the next few months, along with personal goalkeeping training helped me regain my match fitness and the agility that I once possessed. In January, I had attracted the attention of regional preferente coaches. After three days of training with Club Asturias de Blimea, the coach decided that my strong work ethic and dedication had earned me a spot on the team. Despite our season not ending as well as expected, the guidance and instruction that I received from seasoned players have helped me improve my abilities and continue pursuing soccer at a professional level in Spain. I would highly recommend the Oviedo City Soccer Academy to young adult players who wish to enhance their soccer knowledge and pursue a more competitive level of soccer within Spain.