SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) — A group of local 12 and 13 year-old boys are getting ready to compete at a soccer tournament in Brittany, France at the end of May.
The Mondial Pupilles Plomelin tournament is known for hosting the next generation of world famous athletes and will have teams from 32 nations.
Representing the United States for the second time in 33 years is the 06 Boys Elite team from the Carolina Football Club.
Their coach is Amer Resumovic, who was held under siege for 4 years during the Bosnian Serbian war, dreaming of soccer until the war ended in 1995.
“We were indoors, in the basement, so when the war was over, the first thing we did was starting to kick a ball,” he says.
He scored his first goal at the Mondial Pupilles Plomelin tournament and now 22 years later is taking his own team to the same tournament, which is getting attention from media outlets in France.
“Some of these boys that they’re going to play against are going to have professional contracts in a couple of years and they’re going to play on TV as early as 18 years old,” Resumovic says.
“There are a lot of tournaments in Europe where the best teams come to play,” he says. “I knew about this one because I played in it.”
Carolina Football Club’s director says soccer has grown dramatically in the past 4 years from 265 players to nearly 1,000, culminating with Greenville’s new professional team Greenville Triumph.
Player Jordan Herron says he’s eager to learn and “just pick out one player and just watch them, because they’re going to be more technical.”
His teammate Ben Skinner expects the trip to be an inspiring one, reminding him that “we can be pro. We can be really good.”
The 06 Boys Elite CFC team is competing for the SC Soccer Cup to practice.
Players are still raising money for airline tickets and uniforms, which will cost an estimated $30,000, and are accepting donations through a “Go Fund Me” account. Click here to help support their team.