Carlisle forward Tobi Sho Silva enjoys shaping the lives of future football players although he wishes the game did more for those whose path ultimately have to steer away from football when they don’t make it writes Emmanuel Ladapo
Tobi Sho Silva recently moved to Carlisle FC this year, coming off a successful season last year where he won the National League with Sutton United, in an exclusive interview with UOB today the 27 year old discussed the highs of his football career, helping younger football players and what he’d like to see changed to help give young boys and girls opportunities outside of football before it is decided if they make it.
Sho-Silva talked about the period of his life when he saw a career in football and started taking it seriously:
“I started getting into football seriously at age of 11, as I got scouted for Tottenham, West Ham, Fulham, Millwall, Chelsea and Charlton.
“I went on a six weeks trials at Chelsea, I got in but it was too far due to school commitments which meant I had to choose a closer team as I was based in South East London so I signed at Charlton Football Academy at the age of eleven.
He reminisced on the highs of his career so far as well as what has been pivotal his career:
“My favourite moments in football have been “Winning the league with Sutton United Football club last season, scoring two goals at FA Youth Cup finals at Old Trafford quarter finals when I was 18 years old and representing my country England at under 18 level.
“I will say one of my highlights is bouncing back from all the set backs I have had in my career and still able to play at level that I play at today.”
In response to the question his best experiences/moments meeting people in football, he responded that it wasn’t anybody that has played professionally on the pitch:
“Not actually meeting players but fans and younger kids as I can have an influence on them with what I say and do, hopefully help them shape their lives to be the best that they can be.”
He talked further on what it means to him to be influential figure:
“It’s a privilege to be in a position of a footballer in this country where you have access to people who make a difference in lives.”
The Carlisle forward shared his perspective on what he would like to see change most in the game to support young players between the ages of 18-21:
“Football’s quite an unstable career I’ve seen many players that I’ve played with affected emotionally, mentally, financially
“Football is a cutthroat industry where it’s hard to progress smoothly, so a lot of people fall out of the game.”
Statistics show that those that are playing and getting a professional contract at the age of 18, 5 out of 6 are no longer playing by the age of 21.
“There’s not as much support for players as they fall out of the game as they don’t have other options, they just have football so it’s hard to see people build their life on football without anything to fall back on, I would like to see a change there.”
The position of a forward in football is becoming the most dynamic role on the pitch, there are more wingers and attacking midfield players playing in an advanced attacking role now labelling them a forward which used to be mainly reserved for strikers who would play behind another strike partner, Sho Silva gave his analysis of what style of player he is as a forward:
“ I would say that I am someone who stretches the game and gets behind the defence and score goals and also an aerial threat, it’s these are the two types of striker I would say.”