|Young Valin Bodie looking to excel in soccer|
Guardian Sports Editor
Published: Jul 21, 2012
One of The Bahamas’ brightest young soccer stars has a busy few weeks ahead of him, as he prepares for what could be a life changing experience next week, followed by an opportunity to represent the country at a major regional beach soccer tournament.
Valin Bodie, 17, is set to head to the George Kiefer’s University of South Florida Soccer Elite ID Camp next week. He leaves for the elite camp in Tampa, Florida today. The camp, which will be held from July 22-25, is expected to be attended by hundreds of young soccer players throughout the United States and the Caribbean. A number of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I and Division II coaches will be on hand to scout the young talent.
“I’m very excited. Over 45 colleges are going to be at the camp, so I’m looking forward to the opportunity,” said Bodie. “I’m focused. At the end of the camp, there’s going to be an evaluation where they point out your strengths and also your weaknesses and tell you what you need to work on. It’s going to be a great experience. I think I just have to remain focussed and I’ll be fine.”
On the heels of that South Florida soccer camp, Bodie will travel as a member of the senior men’s national beach volleyball team to a tournament in Jamaica. He is the youngest player on the team that will compete in the Jamaican Independence Tournament. Actually, young Bodie is a member of six local soccer teams. He also plays American football, softball and does the pole vault in track and field. As for his soccer teams, he was the team captain for the St. Augustine’s College’s (SAC) Big Red Machine senior boys soccer squad this past year, he was the team captain for the Cavaliers FC under-17 team that placed second this past year. He is a member of the Cavaliers FC men's team, The Bahamas’ national under-17 team, The Bahamas’ All-Star team, and now he’s preparing to represent The Bahamas as a member of the senior men’s national beach volleyball team.
Bodie himself admitted that even he doesn’t know how he does it – balancing so much activities with his school work. He’ll be entering the 12th grade of SAC in September.
“All I can say is it takes a lot of energy and a lot of effort,” he said. “To me, the key is fitness and being on the right diet. First of all, you have to be focused. It’s tough but I find a way to do it. Right now, I’m just focussed on finishing up my last year in high school, getting recruited for college, and doing my best to represent my country.”
Bodie, who spends most of his time at goal, particularly for the beach soccer team, started playing competitive soccer at age six. When he’s not playing goal keeper, he can normally be seen playing midfield, but is quite versatile. He said that he would love to be a professional goal keeper for beach soccer one day, but is just taking it one day at a time.
“I definitely rather beach soccer than field soccer, but if I get the opportunity to play professional field soccer, I will definitely take that,” he said. “It feels good to make the senior men’s national team, being only 17 years old. I feel there is a little bit of pressure, being the goal keeper, but I’m just going to go out there and do my best. Just to be playing at this level is an accomplishment.”
As for the elite soccer camp next week, young Bodie will spend time training with college coaches, and is expected to gain international exposure. He is aspiring to study environmental engineering in college when his high school days are over.