JEP trophy celebrations for Saints hotshot Sol
HAVING marked his senior debut for Jersey with two goals in the semi-final of the Southern Counties Cup, 17-year-old footballer Sol Solomon has today been crowned JEP Sports Personality of the Month for December 2018.
The Highlands College student ended the calendar year with a healthy handful of noteworthy displays for his club and parish, but his first outing for Martin Cassidy’s representative side against the Royal Navy on 4 December will perhaps be one he remembers with greater fondness.
Deployed off the bench by the manager at HMS Temeraire Sports Ground in Portsmouth, Solomon struck twice to help send Jersey through to February’s final with a 6-0 triumph, while also underlining his potential at the top level of Island football.
‘It was obviously special ... I was proud of myself,’ said the St Peter FC junior.
‘I didn’t really expect it [the call-up], to be honest. I didn’t realise how well I was doing really.
‘When I was coming on he [Cassidy] just said “play your normal game”, so I listened and just did what I normally do. It was nice to score and it’s good that he had faith in me. It made me believe in myself and I was confident on the pitch. I got on the ball and I didn’t shy away, which I might have done if no-one had shown any faith.’
Following that impressive debut, Solomon helped guide home parish St Clement to the 2019 Trinity Shield final with three goals in two December knockout-fixtures. He was also on target for St Peter FC’s first team and under-18s as the club maintained their challenge for further silverware. The former Gillingham FC academy player struck once in the U18s’ 3-1 Tregear Cup semi-final victory over St Ouen, and opened the scoring for the seniors in their opening league match against Channel Islands champions St Paul’s.
‘I’ve hit a good run of form, I guess,’ Solomon said.
‘In every game I’ve been getting chances and taking them, which is good. I’m getting myself in the right positions at the right time.
‘Last year I wasn’t playing as much as I wanted to. I’d come off the bench more than I’d start which I obviously didn’t want. I wasn’t getting as many chances or scoring as many goals, but this year people have been starting me and I’ve been taking more chances.’
And with those taken chances could come further opportunity for a move into full-time football.
‘I’d like to be playing for a professional club – in their set up, in their under-23s,’ Solomon said, discussing his hopes for 2019 and beyond.
‘I want to try and work my way up and have a career in the game, that’s my main goal and I’ve been working hard and keeping fit. A couple of years ago I was just playing football and that was it, but now I’m going to the gym and training a lot more to try and get myself noticed.’
Discussing the JEP’s monthly sporting award, he added: ‘It’s a proud moment and it’s quite special ... it shows I must be doing something right. It’s a big achievement at my age ... I’m really happy.’
To submit a nomination for the JEP Sports Personality of the Month award, email email@example.com
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