Sometimes it’s more than just skill that makes someone a great player. Attitude, ability, and leadership are just a few of the things to be considered. And while many of the men at tryouts possessed one or two of these qualities, I feel that I have chosen the top players who embody all of these traits and more. The men selected understand the true meaning of Darfur United.
However, the difficulty of narrowing down the players was much harder than I ever thought it would be. When a group of men come together and compete with each other and not against each other, it’s a beautiful thing. So, the difficulty of looking each one of these men in the eyes and telling them they didn’t make the top 21 brought tears to my eyes on more than one occasion and sadness to my heart. They gave it everything they had and left it all on the pitch.
So as we move forward with the top 21 players, I do so with excitement and gratitude. The men who were not selected said they, “want what is best for the team whether they are a part of it or not.” They wanted the best men to represent the Darfuri people in the tournament, and for this I am grateful. So with the blessing of all the players who didn’t make the top 21, the 2014 Darfur United Squad begins training as a group and will continue to do so up until the ConIFA World Football Cup. They will endure more difficult training sessions, learn to communicate with each other, and more importantly learn to compete as one. One group of men, one unit, and one team.
“Regardless of differences, we strive shoulder to shoulder… Teamwork can be summed up in five short words: ‘We believe in each other.'” -Unknown