He is a young man three years younger than his teammates. Yes, he’s that good. But more importantly, he is an excellent representative for Chattanooga FC Academy and the sport of soccer.
Born in Africa, he has overcome adversity and challenges unfamiliar to his peers or any 13 year old for that matter. He’s humble, respectful, and carries a contagious smile. His play is outstanding and we’re sure you’ll hear more about him for years to come.
We are thrilled to introduce Joseph Collins as September’s Athlete Spotlight.
CFCA: Where are you from Joseph?
Joseph: “I am from West Africa. In Accra, Ghana.”
CFCA: How did you come to the U.S?
Joseph: “I was adopted from my mom, Kathleen and Tim Collins.”
CFCA: How long ago was this?
Joseph: “In 2010, when I was 7.”
Due to poverty living conditions he was placed in an orphanage in Teshie, Ghana. He and his two brothers resided in an orphanage until Kathleen and Tim Collins adopted them in 2010. While in Ghana the boys played soccer day and night. This is where his love of the sport began.
CFCA: What team do you play for?
Joseph: “I play for the 2001 Premier.”
CFCA: What position do you play?
Joseph: “Center forward.”
CFCA: What’s your biggest challenge as a center forward?
Joseph: “The biggest challenge to me is sprinting back and forth, and playing against the other team’s defenders and trying to win the ball.”
CFCA: How is it playing against kids that are probably bigger, faster and stronger than you as an 03’ playing up with 01’?
Joseph: “It feels good to me. I feel like I am the same size. Size is not a big deal for me. I play as best as I can. I get better by playing against them.”
CFCA: How has your team done this year?
Joseph: “Our record, I think is 4-3, I’m not sure. We do okay.”
CFCA: Who is your greatest competition?
Joseph: “Atlanta Fire.”
CFCA: Tell us about your teammates?
Joseph: “My teammates are really good. They always try to help me. They correct me and tell me what to do and stuff. Omar helps correct me. He helps me a lot.”
CFCA: What are you looking forward to the rest of the season?
Joseph: “I’m looking for us to play hard each game and win every game and get ready for State League.”
CFCA: How do you prepare for a game?
Joseph: “Um, we first try to get ready. We think about the game coming up. We warm up and try to focus. I listen to music and it makes me think of the game and helps me focus more.”
CFCA: What would we hear in your headphones? What is this 13 year old listening to before a match?
Joseph: “Probably like 2 Chainz or Kanye West.”
CFCA: Who is your coach?
Joseph: “Coach Jimmy (Weekly).”
CFCA: Tell us about training with Jimmy Weekly.
Joseph: “I just like the way Jimmy trains us. He make us to want to get better every day and help play our position every day. He helps us keep moving the ball. He’s trying to help us get ready for college.”
CFCA: “Speaking of college have you been scouted or has anyone approached you yet?”
Joseph: “Um, no sir. I don’t think so.”
CFCA: If we asked Jimmy Weekly about your play on the field what do you think he would say?
Joseph: (laughing) “I’m not sure, but I think he would probably say I have to work on some of my stuff like ball movement.”
CFCA: Would he say anything positive?
Joseph: “He would probably say I work hard, spread the ball well and do everything I can.”
CFCA: Do you do any training off the field?
Joseph: “I run in my neighborhood. I like to run in the street. It helps me.”
CFCA: What are you working on this year? How are you getting better?
Joseph: “I am working on playing forward and more quickness. Getting quicker every day.”
CFCA: Do you play for a middle school team or participate with any other teams or organizations?
Joseph: “No sir. I play for CFC Academy. I don’t have time to play other. It keeps me busy so I don’t have time for middle school soccer.”
CFCA: Tell us one difference between soccer in Ghana and soccer in the U.S.
Joseph: “Soccer here, you have more chance of getting to college and people watch you. In Ghana, everybody plays soccer and everybody is good. It’s very hard to get to college.”
CFCA: What advice would you give to the younger CFCA player?
Joseph: “I would tell them to keep working hard. When you do something keep doing it. Don’t just quit, keep playing and working and you’ll get better every day.”
CFCA: Where do you see yourself in 5 years when you’re 18?
Joseph: “Um, I see myself playing for my high school team. And being watched and maybe earning an scholarship to college or something.”
CFCA: Do you have any colleges in mind yet?
Joseph: “Oh, not yet. I’m just trying to get ready for high school. I’ll play for Hixson High School”
CFCA: Who do you watch? Who’s your favorite players?
Joseph: “I like Neymar (Brazilan national player playing for Barcelona) and Paul Pogba (French national player playing for Manchester United).”
CFCA: What is your favorite team?
Joseph: “I mean I like Real Madrid. I used to like Chelsea when I was in Ghana because one of the Ghana players used to play for them.”
CFCA: Do you keep up with the Ghana National team?
Joseph: “Yes sir, I am like always on Youtube watching their videos.”
CFCA: What do you do when you’re not playing soccer?
Joseph: “I play basketball. I play AAU. I like to play with my brothers. I play video games like FIFA too.”