• Saturday Feb 25, 2017

    Turks & Caicos GK Brooks, 16, standing tall at CBSC

    At just 16-year-old, Turks & Caicos goalkeeper Pendieno Brooks (pictured) is making a big impression at the 2017 CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship in Nassau, Bahamas.

     NASSAU, Bahamas -- Having only been converted to beach soccer in January of this year, Pendieno Brooks -- Turks & Caicos Islands’ 16 year-old goalkeeper in the 2017 CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship -- has already warmed up to the task.

    Being the top choice for head coach Christopher Bryan, Brooks helped his team to its first-ever win at this level, a 4-1 decision over the US Virgin Islands in the consolation phase of the tournament that could ultimately earn USVI a 13th-place finish.

    Brooks described the victory and his baptism in this version of soccer as an “amazing feeling.”

    The Maranatha Academy student believes the result will get more young people interested in the game.

    “I think my fellow peers would be surprised that just a 16 year-old boy can be playing in this tournament and they can also,” he said.  “If they work hard for it, then it is very possible.”

    Asked if he will be viewed as a hero in Turks & Caicos, Brooks commented: “I want to say yes, but I’m not too sure.  I’ll have to wait until I go home and see.”

    While he has been playing the 11-a-side football for a number of years, Brooks intends to continue competing in beach soccer and has some words of encouragement for those who are interested in emulating him.

    “Keep playing, try hard and do your best, that’s all there really is to it,” he messaged.  “If you don’t take a liking to it, well, that’s their choice.  It’s just something that you personally take a liking to.”

    He noted that soccer on the sand it’s really tough: “Fitness, mental, physical is important in this version.  You just have to be completely focused.  Everything just has to be on your game.”

     Sounds like Brooks has all the ingredients necessary for continued success.

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