May 11, 2022
18-year-old attacker Gulam Razool has taken up the challenge to juggle his school studies and football while he hopes to book a spot in Lautoka football side for the 2022 Fiji FACT tournament.
Speaking to FijiLive, Razool said at times it’s difficult to give importance to both his school studies while he is very passionate about football.
But the Natabua High School student ends up prioritising studies and sacrifices his football training for his studies.
"I love football but then I have to give importance to my education as well."
"It's tough to do my studies and go for football training but this is a challenge to myself to learn time management also."
"It gets difficult but I try to somehow manage things."
"I have always loved to play football and I feel it’s a healthy sport that keeps me focused and active in my school work so that’s an advantage for me."
The young man from Drasa joined Lautoka in the last few rounds of the Digicel Premier League games last year and ever since then he needed more game time to prove his worth.
His football fortune changed this year when he played the full 90 minute of football and also scored a goal in Lautoka’s 3-1 win over Nasinu in round 5.
“I started football late last year and again this year also late from the bench but then I started to see my name in the starting list.
"So when I played my first full 90 minute game, I came to realise my strengths and weaknesses and I also saw that I am good at my speed but just my football skills are lacking a bit."
"I think I still need more game time to adjust to the premier level football played. I also have to catch up with my breath and I know Fiji FACT is nearing so I have to improve my performance."
"It will be my first tournament and I really want to play for Lautoka. It’s my favourite team and my home also."
Also known hugely as 'Marika' in Sugar city, Razool says former national Under 23 defender Epeli Leiroti inspired him to become a footballer while he hopes to become a Police Officer one day.
"My friends at my locality call me Marika, maybe because my mum is an I-Taukei and they gave me that name and I love the name."
"My favourite soccer player is Epeli because I just like the way he plays football. He has worked a name for himself and that motivated me."
"He is a tough player but he is always helpful. He always encourages giving my best and never stop trying."
"He has been helping me for the Fiji FACT tournament. Sometimes when I miss the training, he is there to give me advice and also tells me the things I missed."
By Romeka Romena