Young goalkeeper eyes national under-17 spot

Earon Isaacs is raring to go after receiving a call-up to join the SA womens under-17 set-up.

UCT Womens Football Club’s Earon Isaacs, 16, says she is ready to rock the national under-17 colours ahead of her training camp in Johannesburg this week.

Earon was called up to trial for the national team following a successful season with the University of Cape Town’s women’s team, who were promoted to the Sasol League this year after winning the Regional Women’s League last season.

Earon said she is ecstatic about the opportunity, owing her thanks to her parents and God.

“I feel quite happy, it’s been a long time coming. Probably winning the regional league with UCT has helped me to reach higher, because in the Sasol League we play against higher ranked teams,” she said.

Earon said the Farouk Abrahams Goalkeeping Academy (FAGA) in Ottery has helped her to become a better goalkeeper.

“He (Farouk Abrahams) is an inspiration to us, he has really motivated me. It pushed me out of my comfort zone.

“I have a really tight schedule, but on Monday I practice soccer, on Tuesday it is dancing, on Wednesday it is karate, soccer on Thursday, soccer or karate on Friday, soccer and karate on Saturday and then soccer on Sunday,” she said.

Earon’s father, Earl Isaacs said it has been seven years filled with hard work and dedication for his daughter.

“I’m very happy for her, she has been trailing since the age of 12 for the under-13 teams. She was about 7 years old when she started playing with the boys in the under-8, under-9 and under-11 sides,” he said.

Earl said Earon played for the Spurs Women’s 2nd team before she moved to Santos on loan, and at the moment she is in her third year playing for UCT as a non-student.

Earl said they have groomed her to be “holistic about her approach to life”.

“She has a teacher’s qualification for dancing in hip-hop from the SA Body of Dance. Last year, she received a junior black-belt in karate in under-16, from Seido Karate in Belgravia.

“I’m sure she will give God the glory for the talent that she has, I’m really excited for her,” he said.

Earon’s mother, Sharon Isaacs said soccer camps around the province in the past five years have enabled her to improve both on and off the field.

“I’m overjoyed, this has been coming on since 2013. This is the culmination of SAFA introducing regional, provincial and national tournaments. SAFA identified a culture shop, since 2013, that was to prepare them for such a national call-up.

“This is a process but I told her this morning (Monday) to take it with both hands and go to the trials,” she said.

Sharon said, the goalkeeping academy helped to boost Earon’s confidence ahead of the national under-17 trials.

“It gave her so much confidence. She practices every Wednesday and sometimes on a Sunday with Ahmed Parker from UCT, and with Carlo Phillip, they have been working with her one on one,” she said.

Sharon said Earon was a rugby player before deciding to play football at the age of seven.