Gawler Eagle’s product Pacifique Kamsoba has overcome adversity to play for the Adelaide United Youth team this year.
Pacifique was born in Burundi, but as an eight-year-old he and his family were forced to flee the country.
“There was war in my country... and pretty bad poverty,” Kamsoba said.
“We were taken to a camp in Tanzania – they took us to Australia… for a better life.”
The 17-year-old joined Elizabeth Grove soon after arriving in Adelaide, before moving to Playford and then Gawler.
Pacifique made his debut with the Eagles first team at age 16 – he scored three goals for the State League side and 41 for the under 18s.
“The Gawler Eagles helped me a lot to grow my confidence playing with the older guys,” he said.
“It was very scary at the start, but I learnt to adapt.”
He was asked to trial for the Adelaide United Youth team, and was picked up for the 2017 season.
“I was just playing soccer for fun – I didn’t even know there was a (youth) team,” he said.
Pacifique has scored three goals in his 16 appearances with the Reds, including a coast-to-coast pearler during his first match as a starter in the side’s round six 3-1 win over West Adelaide.
He celebrated his first goal with his now trademark backflip.
Pacifique said he has already learnt a great deal from the coaching staff at the Reds, including playing a new position.
“I’ve learnt how to play as a winger – it’s been really good, the coaches are really good – I have a good coach (Huss Skenderovic), he’s really helpful,” he said.
“The level is a bit higher (than at the Eagles) – I’ve learnt structure, when to attack and when to not, and some more technical plays.”
The versatile winger played for the Burundi FC SA team with older brothers Elvis and Ibrahim – the side winning the African Nations Cup, South Australia, last year.
Soccer is certainly in the Kamsoba’s blood, as Elvis, 22, moved to Melbourne from Adelaide Croatian to play with the Knights this season.
The young up-and-comer said he has loved his first season at the Reds, but he too has higher aspirations like his sibling.
“I always look up to my brother – that’s where I learnt (to backflip),” he said.
“I could’ve scored a couple more goals (this season) – I think you can always improve, but I’m doing pretty well.
”I’m hoping for a scholarship, and I’d like to play in Europe.”