First official pictures of Cameroonian Tristan Achu an 8 year-old Cameroonian boy signed to Manchester City under 8’s 2017 football team. City Tristan is the latest football sensation to hit the Cameroonian football loving community in the United Kingdom, Cameroon and around the world. Tristan Achu is also the youngest Britist born Cameroonian footballer to be signed to the teams young league. 

[su_note note_color=”#9fac50″ text_color=”#120103″ radius=”20″]At two it was obvious he would run fast, so to me there was enough athleticism in him to do any of many sports disciplines, I had though counsel myself to support his choice and not push him one way or other. However, there were lots of footballs around the house as a hint of my preference[/su_note].

Despite the hint, he didn’t really show any more interest than the average boy towards football, until during the 2014 world cup. He followed Cameroon and knew the match schedules so we let him stay up late to watch them. I could see he was getting really passionate, angry and frustrated at the teams showing, maybe because he had told his friends at school about Cameroon, or just maybe he had just been bitten by the bug. Well from this point on, he wanted to play, maybe thinking he is the answer to Cameroons problems. We seized on this interest, and would take him to coaching sessions on Saturdays at the Dome  “platt Lane” near “Main Road” Man City’s old ground.

 British Born Cameroonian Tristan Achu

Here as had suspected, he was strongest and one of the fastest in the group. Given he was relatively new to the game he was absorbing the ball mastery and skills drills like a sponge, and by the 5th session had moved to the top group. Frustratingly though during matches, he would opt to go in goals more times than the rest of the kids; I asked him why that was, he said he went in goals at school most times; this I strongly discouraged, especially as I remember being bullied into goal in primary 3 in Bafoussam because I was the new kid on the playing ground.

In mitigation I was good in goal, and so is he, but I was not going jump on this opportunity so he can go in goal, Plus keeping goal could not be the most efficient use of his pace and power. With his increasing love, interest and confidence for the game and staying away from goal, he began playing regularly outfield in his then school “holly Name Catholic Primary” in Hulme, Manchester. And within weeks his capacity was noticed by one of the staffs who happened to be a scout for the “Red” side of Manchester. He invited mum round and advised her to take him to the “reds” development centre, at Denmark Rd, Hulme. This as luck would have it, was on his last day at the said school March-2015, as we would be moving a few weeks after to Warrington. 

Because of the move to Birchwood -Warrington, Tristan would attend the “Reds” development centre in Runcorn instead, and after two session in his “U6” age group, he is moved up to “U7”, the coaches assured us that whilst his football wasn’t at that level, his physicality “speed and power” is more than a match, and that his football will catch on within weeks; “we are that confident of his ability, we wont move him up otherwise”. To aid with his development and giving that the development centre would close during summer 2015, they directed us to his local Birchwood team “FIFFE Rangers” and Coach “Neil”. Funny how but for a few training session and games with FC Blue star in Manchester, “FIFFE Rangers” would be his first real football team, first time he will be training and playing community football. However, because of the kick around in school and an eager eye staff member he was already academy setup, albeit “development centre”, something a lot of kids who would have been playing community football for at least 2 years and were far developed football wise would have been aspiring for.

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At FIFFE Rangers under Coach “Neil” and later “Danny Monk” his development is exponential, and am being modest. He ends the season as FIFFE U7 parents “player of the year”, lots of man of the match awards, lots of appreciation from opposition parents and coaches for playing the game in a manner “well above his years”,  some would say is like watching “a veteran”; maybe because he came in late to the game, he keeps it simple. During this time he is scouted and joins Man City, attending the development centre at Warrington FC grounds for about 6 to 8 months. Here again he excels and is top of the group of players. For a while though, we not sure if he will get called up to the elite group at Etihad, or his released by Man City at the end of the U7 session.

 8 Year-Old British Born Cameroonian Tristan Achu

Luckily Just before the end of the U7 2015-2016 season, he is invited from the “development Centre” to train with “shadow” of the Manchester city U7 elite. The idea being to watch him for a 3 to 4 weeks with this shadow group. After this first session which we doubled as a family day out, it being a nice sunny may 2016 day, we walked towards the car after posing for few pictures in-front of the beautiful academy reception building, only to be stopped by two coaching Staff in a sprint towards us. They ushered us to a huge conference hall, and started by apologising that it had taken this long to have a look at Tristan, that they had seen enough for him to report for “U7 Elite” duties the next day Monday. He will be kitted out fully as part of the group, and will feature in the Monday matches against U8 academy sides from down south. They wondered if we had contacts from other academies, when I said Everton; “please delete their number he is not going anywhere”. I was almost in tears, am sure mum was. To further re-assure of the believe in his ability, commitment to his development and fend off other suitors, Man city would some months after, offer us a Pre-Contract, as a guarantee to signing him for U9. We accepted the pre contract offer in October-2016.

For the start of the 2016-2017 season, Tristan is now a popular, trusted and integrated member of the U8 elite team, we decided with heavy hearts to accept an approach from Brockland Dragons U8 as his community football team.  This although an even bigger commitment, would we felt be better for his development. Brockland Dragnons U8 had at least 5 of his friends from city U8, and were enrolled in the U9 league which could only help in his development. It has so far been and outstanding season for him personally and his team, winning the league and cup against U9’s, and still with a chance of winning the Champions league.

He has with City also blossomed even more. Though deployed mostly in defensive positions, he has scored goals for fun when liberated into attacking position. So it was no surprise that city followed their pre-contract with a contract on 02-May-2017. However, it was and will remain for so long, one of the best and proudest days of our lives, parents and siblings alike. For Tristan to attend such heights in little time, tells it was a step path. He walked it with work, joy, luck and commitment. But we know it is just a milestone of many possibilities  he will have to reach. For us his parents we will walk with him, until he prefers another challenge.

Tristan Achu takes in the lead of other Cameroonians strikers who have played for the team includes the late Marc Vivien Foe 2002- 2003 and Lucien Mettomo 2001- 2003

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