In 2011, the Hampton Rovers will experience a Canadian invasion with a number of players pulling on the green and gold as well as a member on the coaching panel.
Its all come about as a result of the clubs partnership with the Toronto-based Central Blues where Rovers players Daniel Andersen, Danny Corp, Kyle and Nick Pinto have all previously played when overseas.
With the AFL International Cup taking place later this year in Australia, several players are taking the opportunity to improve their skills and knowledge of the game while experiencing the Australian culture where the game was born.
Jaye Macumber will join the Hampton Rovers senior coaching panel when he arrives in Melbourne at the start of April. In Canada, Jaye was coach of the Central Blues for the past three years and also coached the U23 Canadian team and he has been appointed the Canadian Senior National Team coach for the 2011 International Cup.
The four players heading to our shores are Arnold Quirong, Jovan Love, Earl Monero and Victor Cinco. Its expected theyll primarily play Under 19s with a call-up to the seniors not out of the question according to Jaye who believes they certainly have the potential to do so.
Its anticipated one of the boys will arrive in Australia late January with the others expected mid-February. The Hampton Rovers AFC is on the lookout for support for the boys through the way of accommodation possible employment opportunities. If you think you may be able to assist in any way, please contact the club. Any help will be greatly appreciated.
The club certainly looks forward to welcoming all the Canadians to the Rovers in 2011. Keep an eye on the Rovers website to track their progress.
Below are biographies of the four players. Take some time to have a read.
My name is Arnold Nino Quirong and I was born July 28th 1992 in Toronto, Ontario. I grew up with both my parents, Romualda and Arnulfo Quirong, and with my sister Anne Quirong in the East York area of Toronto. Growing up was tough for my family, we werent poor but we werent rich either. I wasnt able to have the same things all the other kids had. But there was always a park nearby where other kids were playing sports and it was free. I would be at the park from sunrise to sundown because I loved sports; whether it was practicing basketball jump shots, soccer kicks or football throws.
Throughout elementary school I enjoyed playing every sport. When high school came along, I had lost some self-esteem when it came to sports and I stopped participating in them. Then, in grade eleven, something happened that changed my life forever. A speeding SUV hit me as I was walking a friend home one day. Even though I was in a lot of pain, I knew that I was lucky to be alive. When I was in the hospital I looked back at the accident and wondered how I survived. To this day, I still ask myself that question. How could a small 130lb. boy walk away with only superficial cuts and bruises Later that year, I decided to join the rugby. If I could take a hit from a speeding SUV, I could certainly take a hit from another boy. I proved to be average that season but I wanted to be bigger and better. For the next few months, I made it my goal to put on ten pounds of muscle. I surpassed my goal and succeeded at putting on 20lbs. of muscle instilling a huge sense of pride in myself and now I am standing at a strong 170lbs. I realized that all my former hesitations when it came to playing sports were invalid and have made it a priority to stay fit and active in every way that I can.
In early April 2010, two close friends introduced me to Australian Rules football. At first I was hesitant to join; they described the sport in such a way that made it seem like you could die while playing it. However, I was intrigued and decided to take a risk and try it out. I went to my first practice with the Toronto Central Blues and I couldnt even kick the ball straight let alone hand pass the ball to a person standing in front of me. Still, I fell in love with not only the sport, but also the challenge of something new. In a short amount of time my motivation enabled me to kick and handpass accurately as well as take a mark. Through the support of my fellow players and my amazing coach, I was able to finally piece together all the different elements of the sport. For example, keeping your hips parallel to where you want to kick, using your voice during the drills and the game and how to play in front of the ball. Throughout the year with the Central Blues I was able to play in division one on more than one occasion as well as be part of the starting line-up for the division two grand final. After the season finished, I was fortunate enough to earn the Central Blues Most Improved Player award; which for me was a great accomplishment.
Now that Ive accomplished a major goal for myself, I would like to begin to pursue another one: playing for the national team of Canada. I have been scouted by the junior national team, Wolfpack and have been invited to train with Northwind team Canada for their winter training season. I have also started to immerse myself in the Australian footy culture such as watching the Footy Show and following most AFL matches. And it is an honour to be selected to go to Australia for a year not only to play for the Hampton Rovers but to live and breathe footy in the country where it all started. This once in a lifetime opportunity wouldnt of happen if I didnt have the support from Marty Walter, Jaye Macumber, Caitlin Finney, the Central Blues team and my family. I never guessed that I would fall in love with a sport like footy in fact, having never been outside of Canada, I never even knew such a sport existed. But Ive fallen in love and developed such a passion for this sport that I am willing to do whatever it takes to make it to the top.
Aside from my goals in footy, I do have career goals I would love to accomplish as well. My lifetime goal would be to become a police officer to serve and protect the community because I love to help people. I know that this career path is a difficult one to accomplish, but I am up for a challenge and will work very hard to achieve my goal.
Having the power to change something makes it difficult not to try to do so. Not having that power makes it difficult no to want too. To suggest that this is something that I havent thought about at length, gives no real justice to the statement. Even further is to admit, Ive not tried to put it into practice. Ive learned though, that just trying is enough to get you started. My history would show however that, Ive walked away with a bright perspective, and the attitude of knowing that life happens to all of us, our only responsibility is to happen back.
Most people spend a lot of their lives trying to figure out just where theyre going. I spend a lot of time enjoying where Ive been. It started on March 16th 1991 in Toronto, Ontario, when I was born into the family of Cecil and Laurel Love, an auto mechanic and government worker respectively. Both my parents being headstrong proud Jamaicans, I grew up around a foundation of tough love, carb heavy meals, and four siblings, whom on occasion would find a good reason to settle our differences with flaring tempers, flying fist and whatever was light enough to be thrown quickly at each other. However as I grew I quickly came to recognize the advantages of being the middle of five children being raised by two hard working parents in the middle of a Toronto Metro Housing Project.
Being a rather shy individual, my studies became a retreat of sorts, from not being able to keep up with my siblings physically. School saw me display a higher aptitude for learning than most of my friends. The real pride came in knowing that my father, a near illiterate, high school dropout himself, would constantly acknowledge me and my academic achievements. I would later grow to recognize the special bond that I shared with my father. Our bond would only strengthen as I aged, growing stronger when our parents moved us out of metro housing and into the Jane and Finch community.
The move saw me spend a lot more time with my dad, for I got to help him with a lot of the mechanic work that he did on cars. However on March 4th 2003, my father was deported back to Jamaica. And I suppose for all intent and purpose thats where things got a bit rough for me.
That week Id gotten into a few playground fights, suffered my first suspension, and yelled ferociously at my mother for what I believed at the time to be her fault for not trying hard enough. Over the next months my attitude would change, my grades had plummeted, and I started to stalk around with the wrong group of people. My idol was gone and I displayed a very negative reaction to something I felt was out of my power. Unfortunately for my mother, mine wasnt the only sour reaction.
Being reduced to a one income family of five teenagers was difficult for my mother to handle. This caused us to move around a bit. In September of that year she enrolled me into 188 Cobra Squadron of the Royal Canadian air cadets. I quickly learned in that squadron that arrogance, intelligence and ill compliance to authority are a terrible combination. Needless to say my first years in cadets where not one for the history books; however, as my third year in cadets approached, I entered high school. The challenges of no longer being at the top of the social food chain collided with academic responsibility and the all-around cadet experience.
Im not sure why, but when I most needed them, squadron officers, school teachers and my mom, really went an extra mile to pull me back from whatever hole I had entered. With the full support of a multitude of adults behind me, Id received my first promotion and became the smallest member of Newtonbrook Secondary School varsity football team. And the multitude with one voice spoke. For them I responded with everything I could.
Always wanting to become a pilot, I used cadets to express my academic disciplines and refine my attitude, while at the same time using sports at school, including football, rugby and wrestling, to dispel a lot of my frustrations. For them I tried my best to return to my old ways of always being the best at something, shying only to my siblings and future accomplishments. I had turned to the world that called me and gave back what I felt I owed them. I took the starring role as the plant in the musical Little Shoppe of Horrors, became captain of both the varsity football team and senior rugby team, worked really hard to become the chief of my squadron, and accepted the honor of becoming cadet chief of Toronto, for the Toronto Air Group Christmas Training Course 2009. However all of this success I feel would be marred by some of the paths my siblings would take.
After being granted a working position for the summer of 2008 as a flight commander for the Introduction to Physical Fitness and Recreational Training Course at Trenton Air Base, I would return to find my life once again where I had left it. However with respect to my siblings, my elder sister fell into the category of teenage mothers, whilst my younger sister eloped. At the time, though I was as supportive as a brother can be, I was weary of the decisions they were making. Things hadnt improved when I came home one night to find my mother in tears, unlike anything Id ever seen before. I would later find out that my eldest brother was Torontos most recent shooting victim. Though he, luckily survived, he would find himself incarcerated later in year, for the very same gang related activities.
My brothers survival had me take stock of the important in my life.
After a night of watching inspirational videos on YouTube, Id stumbled upon a promotional video for something that Ive yet to describe as anything outside of just brilliant. I had finally found Australian Rules Football. I spent the next little while ecstatically talking about the absolutely craziness of the Australians who played the sport, to all of my friends. As luck would have it, as I was explaining the very little I could about the sport to a friend of mine, his father had overheard me, and offered me the opportunity to join his team, the Toronto Rebels Footy Club. Eager, uncoordinated and rather sloppy, my first game saw me running water and trying to absorb as much as I could. As the season progressed my speed and improving abilities earned me more time on the field. This eventually lead to being selected to play against the Americans for the 49th parallel cup in the under 23 game, to wining the best on ground in the OAFL metro vs. country game this past year. Id finally found something challenging enough to make me want to do it better than anyone else.
After a chance find on the internet, I passionately submerged myself in the footy culture in the hopes of learning and improving as much as I could. To play on the other side of the world is something my whole family would be proud of. Learning a new culture and playing down under isnt something I ever thought would happen, and though Im not very excited for my first taste of vegemite, I am rather overjoyed to be offered an opportunity where I can prove that my humble beginnings mean nothing in the face of so much to be accomplished. After all, Im not traveling halfway around the world to not become the best.
An opportunity like this doesnt come about very often. However this one itself would not have been possible at all, without the support and help of my teammates of the Toronto Rebels, Marty Walter, Jaye Macumber, Caitlin Finney and definitely my family. Im very appreciative of all the people whove stood by me long enough to show me how far I can make it. I am also very proud of an opportunity to do right by my family, to make something of myself and make them proud.
And to finally start to happen back.
My name is Earl Monero, now known as Duke and sometimes Zach on the footie pitch or Phaze Write on stage. I’m an 18 year old who was born in St.Lucia a small Island in the Caribbean; I lived there for 9 years before moving to Canada with my mom and my Sister. Ever since I could remember playing sports has always been a part of my life. I had it a little rough growing up as a kid which now I find to be a blessing because I look at most negatives and turn them into positives. I’ve learned how to make something out of nothing through hard work and dedication and that good is never good enough, you have to be your best in everything you do.
I used to get me into a lot of trouble. I used to do silly little things that could have caused serious injury or death. When I was 6, I snuck to steal a power ranger lollipop my mom was saving for me for school but I wanted it at midnight so I ate it. After that I blanked out, it turns out I had choked on the candy and was rushed to the hospital. Then when I was 7, I thought I was cool and sat on the ledge of a jeep that was going up a hill. When the jeep took off it whip lashed me back and travelled about 1.5 Kilometers before someone one the street shouted that my head was almost scraping the ground. Then when I was 8 I didnt want to eat anything but Jelly sandwiches and I got away with it for about 2 weeks until I tried to eat normal food and my body would reject it. After 2 days of that happening I woke up a week later in the hospital.
My sister and I would play tag, soccer on the beach, cricket and basically whatever we could get our hands on to have fun. We were so competitive earning me numerous M.V.P awards, but she was faster than me, in Toronto she was the fastest girl in Elementary School for juniors and we were always neck an neck but she always seemed to push a little harder than me, which then motivated me to be better. In my last 2 years of Elementary school I got deeply involved with sports like soccer, volleyball and basketball which let me showcase both my speed and 64 cm Vertical jump.
Then surprise I had another near death experience in the summer of my grade 8 year that made me really appreciate life and my body even more I will not speak of it. When I got to high school it was a whole new playground and I wasnt really into fitting the jock stereo type so I didnt play any sports for a year. A year later I realized that wasnt a good idea because I got in a lot of trouble, and all I seemed to do was waste time. During the end of my Grade 10 year a good friend invited Victor and I to join cadets, while we were in cadets we had to be a lot more open to try new things. Victor and I got very competitive, he was better at sit-ups, I was better at push-ups, I could run faster but he could run longer. We built a strong friendship and it taught us organization, discipline and how to keep going even if you cant. I have a million stories from cadets; however, they are just all too long for a biography. In grade 10 I tried rugby, a sport I knew nothing about then Victor explained it to me and I realized it was just like football. I played and ended up enjoying it a lot and I had the status as the quickest guy on the team, I took pride in the title and only aimed to be better.
I played another year in Grade 11 and Grade 12 but got kind of bored with the sport and was searching for something that couldnt also showcase my soccer skills also. Thats when we had the Australian rules football presentation for 5 days at Neil McNeil Secondary High school, I was unable to attend all 5 because of a trip but I enjoyed the first day of learning to pass because I got to show my volleyball skills for once in high school. Fast forward Victor and a few other guys started playing footie, but I was pretty focused on other things and still played rugby. In the summer of 2010, I played a lot of soccer and got bored pretty quickly with it because I found it to be too simple and I felt it was easy to play. Thats when Victor told me to come to a practice; I went to two practices and had my first game in Div 1 and Div 2 on the same day. I became more familiar with the game and strengthened my footie skills. I enjoyed Tex’s style of kicking, it appeared like he put no effort into hitting it and thats what I vowed to be. I was really into the sport and it did not bore me. The quick pace, the new kicking style and passing just required so much concentration that I fell in love. After my first 2 games I borrowed a footie and practiced on the same field I played soccer almost every morning for the first 2 weeks and my kicks were slowly starting to look like Tex’s kicks. With a good coach like JAYE MAC! I could only improve and my club was so supportive and friendly and family like that I couldnt help but want to learn more about the game. After watching my first footie game online in a drop box COACH JAYE put up new goals for myself and wanted me to really learn more about the sport. I felt welcomed and didnt get in trouble or yelled at when I did something wrong. I received positive feedback and ambiance from my teammates and even got pointers on what I could improve on and what I was doing wrong. I played the season and had a great deal of fun earning the best and fairest in Div 2 which made me aim even higher for Div 1 and I will get it one day. I fell in love with the sport and I know that because for the first time in my life I’m not jaded. All I want to do is improve and hope that my skills are progress and are strong enough to compete with the Australians.
My name is Victor Ocho Cinco; I was born on October 23rd in 1992 in Caracas, Venezuela. I lived with my mom, dad, and younger sister Oliviana. While living in Venezuela I moved between 3 different cities and attended 5 different schools. I remember always being surrounded by family. It was a really big part of my life which brought some good memories as well as some bad ones. But the best part of it all was always being around my cousins and finding something creative to do.
We would play soccer, or go swimming; we would go hunting or go run around. Anything that had to do with the outdoors, I rarely found myself inside the house during the day. At the age of 11 we moved to Berkley, California. We lived there for 6 months before coming to Toronto, Canada
I believe myself to be a very athletic person. Ever since I can remember Ive been involved with sports, which also help me in other aspects of life. I started doing tae kwon do at the age of 4 and continued to do it until we moved to California, which then I took a break from it until we moved to Toronto when I started with karate classes. I was involved with karate for 5 years and am currently a black belt. Not only did it improve my self-defence and fitness level, but it also thought me a lot of self-discipline and to be a much more relaxed and calm person. While in Venezuela I was always part of school teams including soccer and baseball which kept me fit and occupied through the day. when we moved to California, I began to play basketball, I wasnt very good, but since a had a good athletic background I was able to pick it up pretty quick and was part of the basketball team at school when we came to Toronto. These sports taught me all about leadership and team work which has been very helpful in everyday life.
Ever since I can remember Ive been taking care of my younger sister who is 4 years younger than me. I had to always look out for her in school, as well as in the house. I would always play with her to keep her entertained and away from trouble. But she always found a way back to it. She was always getting herself in trouble at school with other people, always picking fights and then calling me to fix the problem.
But because of my karate background, I learnt not to solve things with violence and became a peace keeper in a way, at least when it came to my sister; which was often. Even up until this day, she is still the more reactive one, but with time she has learnt to calm down a bit.
Elementary school, along with my sister thought me some very valuable lessons which helped me stay out of trouble during my time in high school.
High school is where I had probably the best, most memorable experiences of my life. From friends, to sports, to parties, to relationships, to school, you name it, it was high school. I learned how to socialize better and talk to people. Through that I made many good friends who are always there for me and whom I can trust, One of them being Earl Duke Monero. He and I shared many interesting experiences. In grade 10 we decided to join cadets. It was a great experience which opened us up to many new things and also helped develop discipline. I remember going up to Borden for an overnight camp, it was one of my favorite memories, except for the cold mornings and crappy food. Also, the fitness test that we had in cadets made Earl and I become very competitive and always push ourselves to do the best we could. I also joined the rugby team in school and was very successful at it. The very first year I joined the team I was already starting and later moved on to become one of the best players on the field, including the best tackler on the team. All while focusing on my academics as well.
In grade 12, my physical education teacher said that we had people coming in to teach us about Aussie Rules football. I had absolutely no idea what the game was but since it was a sport I decided to give it a try. This is when I first met J-Mac, not as a coach but as a random guy who is teaching us a random sport. As the lessons went on I started to become more and more interested in the sport because it reminded me of rugby, but also soccer. It is like an all-round sport, from kicking and catching to jumping, running and tackling. I felt like I could use everything Ive learnt from others sports Ive played to help me become a better player. I decided to give it a try and join the Toronto Central Blues where I first met the best person ever, J- Mac, as a coach. At first it was frustrating because everyone was kicking the footy straight and I could not even hold it properly, it was a bit of a struggle to learn but I began to understand it, and began to like it. Everyone on the team was extremely friendly and made me feel very welcome which also helped me want to continue with this.
After many practices, hard work, and many games I found myself playing in the teams first grand final. My first year, I was able to WIN a grand final. This is not an event that everyone experiences and I feel extremely lucky to had been part of the team and on the field during that moment. And with the opportunity that has presented its self of me going over to Australia to play with the Rovers and develop my footy skills, I could say that footy is one of the best things that has happened in my life, and I plan to continue going at it and enjoying such a wonderful sport.
Again, if you think you may be able to assist in any way with accommodation or employment, please contact the club.