By: Omar McKenzie
Nineteen-year-old national Guyanese footballer, Brandon Solomon, who is aspiring to take his athletic talent to the highest possible level, has his humble beginnings in East Ruimveldt, Georgetown, where he grew up watching GOAT Lionel Messi’s style of play.
This inspired him to develop a love of sport and from a very young age, he started to play football competitively.
He first started to play competitively at the Courts Pee Wee Competition in 2014 for St. Pius Primary where they trumped Stella Marris Primary to become champions.
His talent did not go unnoticed and his parents – Rodlyn and Ron Solomon – wasted no time in enrolling him in the East Veldt United, an underdeveloped in the East Ruimveldt community.
Solomon was recently transferred to the mighty Santos Club, where he is currently representing them at the KFC Guyana Elite League Cup.
He was previously part of the 25-man Santos Team squad, which placed fourth, in the KFC Elite League, earlier this year. Solomon, however, only played a few matches in that tournament, having only returned to Guyana this year, after completing his CAPE exams in Jamaica.
Prior to studying in Jamaica, Solomon attended the Chase’s Academics Foundation, also on a scholarship.
Recognising his elite thinking, Director of Chase Foundation, Henry Chase gifted the young man a full scholarship in 2018 to attend the institution, where he played a pivotal role in their football team, to bag the Under-14 ExxonMobil/Petra against North Ruimveldt Multilateral.
Then when the Covid-19 pandemic struck, Solomon utilised the two years of no matches to continue training, which came in use when he represented Guyana in the 2021 CONCACAF Under-20 Championships held in Dominican Republic. Guyana’s squad, the Golden Jaguars, however, did not make it beyond the qualifiers.
Solomon graduated in 2022 from the Chase Academics Foundation, with nine passes in the Caribbean Secondary Examinations Council (CSEC).
Due to his excellent performance and his talent in football, the young man was again awarded a scholarship pursue his Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) at the St. Jago High School in Jamaica. There, he became part of the St. Jago Under-19 Squad for the Manning Cup, better known as ISSA High School Championship.
The Manning Cup is a key showcase for talented players and serves as a launchpad for domestic and overseas clubs and a call-up for Jamaica National Team.
Academically, Solomon is pursuing studies in biology, entrepreneurship, physical education and communication studies.
This scholarship was awarded by the Guyana Football Federation (GFF).
“The scholarship meant a lot to me, I made new friends, I got quality training from different coaches and I got the chance to further my studies which is at the CAPE Level and I would go to school from 7:45am to 3pm and focus on all my classes, then from 3pm to about 05:30pm, I have football practices and study for like an hour, after I reach home,” Solomon detailed what his new schedule is like, noting that it requires a lot of discipline.
Being exposed to a different level of sporting facilities in Jamaica, the young athlete expressed hope that facilities locally can be better developed, for the overall benefit of the Guyana football fraternity, especially for junior athletes.
“More needs to be done to offer support the young athletes. There aren’t enough facilities and training centres to support a young Guyanese career in football but as time goes by, I hope these changes and the quality of training in Jamaica aren’t different from Guyana by that much but In Jamaica, their style of play is a lot of speed and physicality similar to Guyana, but Jamaica does it better.”
Solomon passed his CAPE exams with flying colours and now that he is back in Guyana, he hopes to continue his prosperous career in football, all the while further advancing his academics.
He hopes to make a significant contribution to football in Guyana and one day, leave a legacy that others can follow.