Hey Roberto, TJ here. As our youth soccer journeys have come to an end, as captain, I write this message to you; On behalf of the Richmond Metro U18 graduating team of 2017, I thank you, the man who taught us all how to play the beautiful game of soccer, for endlessly caring and believing in our team. You ultimately gave us all the tools we needed to achieve the success we did over the years. Allowing us to win the League, Coastal Cup, and Provincial Cup all undefeated in our final U18 season. However, it was never about winning and collecting trophies. Although it was very nice, it was simply a consequence of playing the right way, “the Richmond way”, and by expressing ourselves on the field.
Near the end of our U16 season, your physical presence had fallen absent because of the circumstances that had taken place. Throughout our U17 season, a new coach tried to change the way we all knew how to play the game and our team began to fall apart. We had lost the love for the game and were all on the verge of quitting. If we could not play for the man who taught us how to play the game we did not want to play at all. We collectively decided to give it one more shot to finish what we started for you, because that is one of the many things you taught us over the years. We had managed to fight for just Shawn and Indy to coach our team who had been with us from the start. Mid way through the season, sitting at the bottom of the table, our spark had been re-ignited. We all had the talent locked away deep inside us, we were just missing the man holding the key. We didn’t care that we were sitting at the bottom of the table, we began to express ourselves in the right way once again.
In a matter of weeks, we reverted back to our old way of playing, “The Richmond way”, allowing us to take down the 1st seed U18 Richmond team in coastal cup who had been in the same situation as us but allowed themselves to get lost in the mess. This was the pivotal moment in our path to success. We defeated the giants of the division by simply playing the right way and expressing ourselves like you taught us to do. Entering our U18 season we had played as if we all had a chip on our shoulders. We were out there to prove a message to everyone that did wrong by you. Thus we dedicated every one of our games to you, chanting your name in our team huddles before the game.
From that point on the rest is history. For that, we are all forever in your debt. We thank you Roberto for teaching us about the beautiful game and life. You are a constant role model and inspiration in all of our lives. You kept us in line by giving us what we deserve, you weren’t afraid to tell us the truth no matter if it was bad or good, because ultimately you knew in the long run it would benefit us. You taught us that if you do the right thing, good things are only a consequence. To fight for our brothers that we share the field with, and that it is okay to fail as long as you are trying to do the right thing and so much more. Although from the outside to others it may not seem right, on the inside we all knew everything you did was because you cared. No matter what you said or did it was for us to grow and mature as human beings and players. We thank you for the environment you created, no matter what was going on at home or at school for the past six years, four times a week, ninety minutes each session we were able to express ourselves and show our individual creativity and character alongside our brothers. These past 6 years have influenced our lives greatly and allowed us to make unforgettable memories and for that we cannot express how grateful we are for you to be apart of our lives.
Sincerely your little pirates