Soccer player Alex Dedame of Gabriola bound for the stadiums

Jane Reddington

Sounder Staff

Tuesday, August 9 2016

Alex Dedame is 16 years old and already he has a wealth of life experience under his belt. From August 22 to 25, 2016, Dedame will host an intensive soccer camp through the Gabriola Recreation Society for dedicated players in the 10 to 14 year age group at the Gabriola Elementary School field. The camp will run from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for $120.00 with lunch provided.

Dedame plays in the under 18 premier league with the Nanaimo Storm, was the top scorer in the league at the Keele Cup in England and the past two summers has trained with professional clubs in England and Wales, and university camps in the United States and Canada. He coaches with the Harbour City and Upper Island Whitecaps Academy.

“Based on the experience I’ve had, I want to take players to the next level with drills and games and activities I’ve done at camps based on youth professional teams and university teams,” says Dedame.

“When I first started playing soccer at four or five years old, I didn’t like it. I never got the ball. Later, I played when I was eight years old and I loved it. My goal is to become a professional soccer player - my grandfather, my dad’s dad, was semi-professional.”

At 14 years old, Dedame was asking his coaches for opportunities to get to the next level. These requests took him first to England and the Monroe FC team for the Keele Cup. This was a two-week opportunity. 

Last summer, in 2015, Dedame played for two clubs, Wrexham in Wales and Shrewsbury in England. He had two days at each club and said the competition was so tough that it pushed him to new heights.

“They said they’d never seen a kid who was so dedicated, and I could run circles around them even if I wasn’t as big a player. I worked doing yard work to pay for the plane ticket and I knew I had to do well or go home with regrets.”

This summer, Dedame attended two university soccer camps - one in Philadelphia and another in Shawnigan Lake. He’s received emails from universities on the East Coast of the United States already interested in him playing soccer at university, possibly on scholarship. Getting noticed by a scout is what every player hopes for, but Dedame says it has to be the right time and the right place.

“The dream is to play for thousands and thousands and play for a big team. If it was easy, everyone would be there.” That’s why Dedame manages his time so wisely and knows that he has to make the most of every training session and every game. His dedication and self-discipline are remarkable for his age.

“My mom has been a huge supportive figure in my life and my stepdad too. People say it’s unrealistic but you have to make time and sacrifices. But I also know I love the game and it has to be fun. It can’t be a grind all the time.”

Dedame says the camp he is running is very important because he wants to push the kids to their limits and help them get to the next level and out of their comfort zones. 

“Kids decide if they’re going to jog in a sprint or if they’re going to sprint hard in a sprint. 

“This camp will encompass all my personal experiences in Wales and England and Philadelphia. There’s a high chance that I might not make it as a professional so I have to have a Plan B and that’s coaching.”

Depending on how many kids sign up, Dedame is interested in meeting with each one of them to talk about their skills and get an idea of who they are as individuals. 

He will also be offering advice on nutrition and will be providing lunch during the camp.

Gabriolan Glen Murphy has been a key figure in Dedame’s learning, as have many of his coaches who have opened doors for him to learn about what it takes to be a professional player. 

Dedame, who was born in Nanaimo and has lived all his life on Gabriola, wants to pass on the opportunity to help someone else make it to the next level, whatever that might be for them, playing in high school, or at university level. 

“Whatever their next level is fine with me. Soccer means unity to me,” Dedame says. 

“Nothing is better than going to the field and playing soccer. A lot of times I’m alone when I play. It’s your choice what you do with your future.” 

For more information contact Dedame at his email alexothebro@gmail.com or by cell 250-816-8270 and find out more about the camp he is offering at www.gabriolarecreation.org