DAVID LEE talks to the four Cubs who form the spine of the Singapore team
WHEN one has 2,700 friends with 600 outstanding requests on Facebook, you know he has made it in the celebrity stakes.Yet Cubs captain Jeffrey Lightfoot feels he can relate more to ‘Charlie’, the initially shy and unpopular main character in the teenage novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
‘My mum told me I was very noisy as a toddler, but I became shy and quiet as I grew up.
‘So if not for football, I might have been a hermit,’ the cherubic teenager quipped.
Or the Liverpool fan could have represented Singapore in tennis, as he was part of a doubles team that won the Schools National tennis tournament when he was in Primary Five.
But when he was asked to choose either football or tennis the following year, Jeffrey returned to his first love football, which he started playing when he was six.
Subsequently, Singapore’s Youth Olympics team found a model skipper in the heart of defence.
Clear and committed, as demonstrated when he decided to finish off his ongoing pool game before meeting this reporter, it is evident from his pinpoint passes that Jeffrey is also technically adept.
He explained: ‘I try to combine the qualities of my favourite players.
‘Jamie Carragher has got the never-say-die attitude, Steven Gerrard can make accurate long passes and Daniel Agger is good at heading.’
Indeed, these are qualities Singapore will need to rely on if they are to challenge for the Youth Olympics gold.
Did we mention the 1.79m-tall Jeffrey is pretty useful at the attacking end too?
Already tasked with taking some of the longer-range free-kicks, Singapore’s Captain Marvel also attacks corners.
Like a lighthouse, Lightfoot shone the way and led by example, scoring his team’s second goal in Thursday’s 3-2 win over Montenegro.
But he refused to claim all the plaudits.
Modestly, he said: ‘We won as a team. On the field I serve as the point of contact between our coach and the players whom I help to look out for, but we are all close buddies off it.’
Curiously, the soft-spoken boy has a louder taste in music, citing American rock band Paramore as his favourite group.
In the grander scheme of things, the Secondary Three student from Victoria School is already blossoming towards living up to his school’s mission of becoming ‘ultimately a gentleman, a professional and a sportsman’.
Full article: http://tnp.sg/sports/story/0,4136,252823,00.html