On Saturday 2 April, despite heavy rain battering Mauritius, five players from the MCB Football Academy Elite, namely Zaaid Narojee, Abhaye Bhoyrah, Isamel Roosse, Sheldon Armance and Aylan Appollon had the opportunity of a lifetime to meet two retired footballing giants, namely Robbie Fowler and Gordon Strachan.
Both had stellar careers at club level (Liverpool, Manchester United, Leeds) and for the England and Scotland national teams. Fowler and Strachan were in Mauritius to play in the Celebrity Pro-Am, a golf competition that is part of the MCB Tour Championship.
Strachan was to participate in a Foot Clinic with 26 academicians, but bad weather decided otherwise. Hence, the improvised meet-and-greet session with Strachan, and Fowler gladly joined in. Rajen Dorasami, MCBFA Elite coach, Juliette François-Assonne, MCB Forward Foundation director, and Clet Adolphe, MCBFA coordinator, accompanied the teenagers.
The two celebrities had a chat with the teens, discussed their position on the pitch, their taste in football and their ambition regarding a possible career in the sport. "Oh you're a striker, then Robbie is your guy. If you're a box-to-box midfielder, then I can tell you everything," said a smiling Gordon Strachan.
For Robbie Fowler, nicknamed “god” by Liverpool fans around the world, whatever position you occupy on the field requires a lot of concentration and above all, to play with intelligence. "Of course, you need to be skilled with the ball and all that. But if you don't use your brain, you're in trouble!"
Fowler and Strachan gladly signed autographs, while the latter gave football shirts and other goodies to the academicians, whose eyes never stopped shining brightly.
Juliette François-Assonne was pleased. “Although the weather thwarted our initial plans, Robbie and Gordon meeting our kids was great. They had a unique opportunity to meet football celebrities and receive advice from them.”