Deon McCaulay, his name should ring a bell. He is the national team football player who made Belizeans proud and calmed the psyche of the nation when he scored the winning goals in the qualifying games of World Cup 2014. McCaulay has scored eight goals in six games against Montserrat, Grenada and Guatemala. While the footballer is familiar in the jewel, not much may be known of him internationally. But that is about to change as McCaulay is being recognized as the global top striker by FIFA. News Five’s Delahnie Bain caught up with him today in Belmopan.
Delahnie Bain, Reporting
The name Deon McCaulay is huge on the local football scene and in the qualifying matches for World Cup 2014, he has put Belize on the map scoring, the first hat trick of the season and a total of eight goals in six matches. After that feat, the name Deon McCaulay is known worldwide. He has earned major bragging rights since he was named the global top striker.
Deon McCaulay, Striker, Belize National Football Team
“It’s a great honor because, we as a small nation, nobody dah Belize ever yet get this acknowledgement fi be di top striker, not only eena di Caribbean Region, but eena di world. Fi me dah wah great honor.”
Getting to where he is today, has been a lifelong journey. McCaulay says he comes from a family of footballers and found his passion for the sport at a young age.
“From I was growing up, my dad always—you know he is one of the best footballers, David McCaulay Senior—and he always pushed me to do my best from I was growing up lie five, six so I was getting to know the game. Trying and doing my best with my older brother and from there we just continue the trend and continue doing what we’re doing and getting involved in the sport more and more and more until this is the outcome. This is the fruit of all that hard work. What motivates me is my family, to see the environment that I grew up in and it was very hard for us. It still is hard even though this acknowledgement is great, life is still hard beyond football for me but you know my family motivates me and my friends; the people that are around me motivate me.”
But as much as he loves football, McCaulay believes that the sport could be much bigger in Belize but there is a clear shortage of support and sponsorship for the athletes.
“I would ah really want the people fi more get into it and acknowledge the players and mek we step up to another level because imagine if I was in another country and I was scoring so many goals, it would have been totally different. Everything would have been totally different for me and for the players of the national team but I’m in Belize so I have to settle for what’s here.”
“I know that in some countries athletes are dedicated to just their sport because they have that support and that sponsorship. But in Belize, I know that’s not the case for most of our athletes. So outside of football, do you have a full time job or anything?”
“Currently, I don’t have a full time job. This is what I do, this is my life. Everything for me is football, that’s the way how I make money, that’s the way how I live everyday and that’s the way how I keep going. It takes a lot to change what’s happening in Belize because like you ask me before, I noh have wah full time job. The players internationally, they only play football. Here in Belize, they go to work plus play ball and it’s like a hobby. So at the end of the day I would want more people involved, more people show the interest. The better running of football, everybody wants to see that but who wah step up, nobody knows and dat dah weh everybody di wait fa.”
While he waits for his ship to come in, McCaulay plans to keep working hard and hopefully take his football career to another level.
“Hard work pays off because ever since this world Cup Qualifier started, I’ve been working very, very hard and as you can see, it’s paying off. I already have eight goals and we have two more games so at the end of the day, everybody eena di world need wah motivation and if you want mek something ah yourself yoh have to work hard fi it and I hope that the hard work weh I di put een right yah dah di national team, it pays off fi me and I get something better and succeed eena life.”
Delahnie Bain for News Five.