Neolita Lawrence – Staff Reporter
Born in England to a Nigerian father and a Jamaican mother, Aiden Jokomba, whose favourite quote is “Proper preparation prevents poor performance”, is a football sensation on course for the big times.
The 18-year-old, who plays as a striker but can also operate as a winger, has been in the Caribbean island of Jamaica since he was six months old when his beloved mother decided to move back to her homeland.
Astute in his books but possessing a shy personality, Aiden is now reportedly on the verge of inking a scholarship with a Florida-based university, months after departing the famed Cornwall College institution located on Pleasant Hill in Montego Bay St. James.
The holder of ten Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) subjects (Mathematics, English Language, English Literature, Social Studies, Human Biology, Chemistry, Physics , Physical Education, Geography and IT) as well as Communication Studies and four other CAPE subjects, Aiden started out playing football at a tender age, influenced by his travelling with his uncle while residing in the volatile community of Norwood.
The player, who represented Melbourne Mind Games in the Senior League (Major League) now in the Parish League before making a recent switch to the Western CONFED Super League outfit, Falmouth in the last transfer window, says he would like to one day go professional as a footballer.
“It’s my deepest desire. I hope it will happen but in the meantime, I will continue to pursue my education as that is very important to my future living and that of my family, especially my mother,” whmo he describes as his ‘number one fan’.
“I know of my father and communicated with him once when I just went to Cornwall, but I don’t know him… he’s never been around.
“She is the only parent I have,” he affectionately noted of his mother. “She’s always there for me and with me. She comes to my games, supports me in every way and pushes me all the time to work hard. She is also my loudest critic as she is a great motivation and she really believes in me.
“It’s always been me and her since the day she got pregnant so….it’s really great she’s very special to me” he said, flashing a broad smile on his face.
He says though acquiring his subjects he has not yet found the career path he would take should he not make it in football. “I’m not there yet as I don’t see anything that suits me.“
The talented Aiden, who has a baby face and a laid back look, is often overlooked by most opponents, but he says the early lessons he received in his early days of playing has helped him of the head start needed from the tender years of his introduction to the sport by a close family member.
“I was first introduced to the sport by my uncle as I would always follow him to training with Glendevon (a team that once participated in the Parish Senior League). He would take me to the trainings with him each day and from there, I developed a love for the game and was taught the rules and so on.”
Despite the early introduction to the sport though Aiden said he never really started playing until he mother moved and he attended the Anchovy Primary School.
One of two children for his mother, he recanted his first outing. “My first competitive level of football was when I represented Anchovy Primary in the annual Victoria Mutual Building Society (VMBS) Under-13 competition held every year at the UDC field.”
The soft-spoken player, who can be lethal in front of goal, said it was not always his desire to attend Cornwall College where he went on to establish himself as being among one of the best strikers to come through the gates.
“Cornwall College was never a school I had on my mind. I grew up favouring Rusea’s High in Hanover and St. Georges College in Kingston as schools I would love to go, especially the ‘Light Blues’, but living in Montego Bay, just me and my mother, it was far from us and my mother never put it as a selection when I sat my exams and I passed for Cornwall so I just went there,” he said.
A supporter of Chelsea in the English Premier League, Aiden listed Belgian hot-shot, Eden Hazard, as his idol player on the international scene as he’s a match winner and possesses exceptional dribbling skills, some assets he believes he has and can also learn from his idol.
When not on the field, Aiden, who helped Cornwall College lift their last da’Costa Cup title back in the 2016 campaign, says a plate of Ackee and salt fish with yam, banana and dumplings is his favourite dish.
Quizzed about his achievements to date in football, Aiden, known for his speed with the ball at his feet and his lethal prowess in and around the 18-yard box, revealed that his great delight to date is lifting the ISSA Super Cup last year.
“ Both it and the d’Cup (2016) are equally important but because of its significance, it was a historic achievement becoming the first rural team to win the title. That was really special to me and so yes, I rate it high on my slender list, better than even the d’Cup.”
The striker also listed his strike against Camperdown in the second round of the Super Cup as his most memorable ever scored. That goal saw him pick up a ball deep in midfield, powering past three defenders, before slapping a fierce grounder into the corner of the net.
Now a resident of Anchovy, he closed by saying new challenges and a hope to make a push towards the big times, plus again working with coach, Dr Dean Weatherly, were among the reasons he made the move from Melbourne to Falmouth.