Cape Town City footballer, Liam Schnell, 20, from Steenberg, says chasing his dreams, on and off the field, has been a challenge and a blessing in disguise.
The young striker joined the Citizens Multichoice Diski Challenge (MDC) side at the age of 17. And, he also runs an events company in the southern suburbs.
“I grew up in Seawinds. It’s been a rollercoaster. I moved to Steenberg about 10 years ago after my grandma passed away. Steenberg is surrounded by a lot of negativity but what saved me is being goal driven.
“That’s why I started everything I could at a young age. I have taken the hardship of my community and applied it in a positive way,” he said.
Upon Schnell’s return from the Dallas Cup in the United States, with Ikapa United Football Club, a development club that puts together a squad of young players from around the city, Schnell was approached by the Citizen’s for trials. He made the MDC side and was sent on a six-month loan to Grassy Park United.
At Grassy Park, they reached a number of under-18 finals, which included the Engen Knockout Challenge, as well as winning the Gareth Ncaca Foundation Cup in Langa two years ago.
“The experience was great. I didn’t have as much game time because of the intensity, but the level of growth I gained (at Grassy Park) boosted my confidence on the ball. When I went back to Cape Town City, on my debut I scored the consolation goal in our 3-1 loss to Mamelodi Sundowns,” he said.
Schnell said his plan is to become a top-ranked football player. “There is a lot of uncertainty right now because of the pandemic, however, through prayer and hard work I will keep on dreaming and believing,” he said.
“During lockdown I spent my mornings running – I jog every week day. I train at least three times a week; I focus on core training, strength and stretching,” he said.
Schnell said a football career can only last for a certain amount of time which is why he started an events company, “So when football stops, I have a plan B.”
Before he ventured into business, he helped his parents run a wedding events company. He then had an idea to bring the luxury of quality events to the community while empowering the youth.
“We host parties, fundraising events and social events. The main aim is to give back to society through youth empowerment,” he said.
Schnell’s words of inspiration to other youngsters are: “Look at your surroundings and ask yourself if you ever want to remain in this situation? Use your situation to motivate you to follow your dream.”