NAME: Canniggia Johnson
DOB: June 24, 1994
TEAM: Flamingo FC
PERSISTENCE is a character that Canniggia Johnson revealed in an exclusive interview with TEENage Stars of Tomorrow.
Johnson discovered his love for football by watching his older brother. The youngster started playing for Eltham Park Primary School and since then has been working hard to get to big league status.
"I remember my debut game. I played against a school called Friendship Primary. I was on the bench for the entire first-half, but came on in the second-half. It was a bit nerve-wracking, because I was younger than the other guys on my team. We won that game 2-1," said Johnson as his face lit up with a bright smile.
Though slim built, the 17-year-old mentioned that working hard consistently gives him the edge over other players. "I love to be challenged. I am a very hard worker. The joy that I get from this sport is the energy that it takes from my body." He added: "However, motivation has to be within you as a player, so therefore my persistence is key," said Johnson.
The midfield phenomenon explained that his preparation for a game is admirable. "I prepare myself from overnight. Get good rest, and eat right. On the match day, I drink a lot of water, and think about the objectives that I want out of the game," he explained. "In fact, I always put God at the forefront as I take to the pitch," said Johnson.
In 2008, Johnson helped to capture the Juici Patties St Catherine Parish League and Knock-out trophy. The youngster went on to Florida in 2009, where he represented Tampa Bay United. He won the coveted league title, and also received individual awards for top scorer, with six goals in six games, and five assists.
In 2011, Johnson came back to Jamaica with an instant bang, winning the Claro U-17 League with Boys Town FC. The summer that same year was also a remarkable period for Johnson, when he returned to Tampa and bettered his individual accolades, as he conjured an impressive 11 goals with five assist in 10 matches.
Johnson praised his brother and his agent for being influential role models in making his efforts a success.
"Without those two persons, my success would not have been realistic. I really appreciate them, because they know what it takes to become a top player," Johnson said.
When asked what two words he would use to describe himself, Johnson replied that he would have to mention 'persistent' and 'humble'.
Johnson now plies his trade with the St Catherine-based team Flamingo FC. He has already scored three goals, and plays a pivotal role in the attacking third.
His advice to aspiring players is: "My words for aspiring youngster like myself, is that believing in your ability is essential. Never stop working hard at what you're doing, because you never know when the big break will come. Also ensure that your academics is always good."
He is now on his way to the big league.
"If the process continues, I will soon be in the US playing College football at the junior level, then on to University. And who knows! Maybe I can be the next Darren Mattocks," mused the ambitious youngster.