Second Tsartlip First Nation youth scouted for soccer in Spain

CHEK

Competing for Canada is something few of us get to do, but a young Vancouver Island soccer star is competing for both his country and his Nation.

Thirteen-year-old Marquez Caffiero, who is a member of the Tsartlip First Nation in the Brentwood Bay area, was recently selected to play in a tournament with Real Madrid in Spain.

In July 2023, the Island boy was scouted to join the Real Madrid Foundation training program in Saanich, and from there he was invited to compete in the youth world cup challenge being held in Madrid, Spain in March.

Marquez will be representing Team Canada at the cup.

“I was so happy,” he told CHEK News about hearing he’d made the team. “I didn’t know what to say.”

Marquez’s father, Marco, says his son is a dedicated player who has the full support of his parents.

It was actually Marco who first learned that Marquez had made the team.

“It was super exciting and I called his mom right away, and then called him with the good news,” he said.

Marquez was partly inspired by another Tsartlip First Nation teen, Joseph Seward, who was also selected for a 10-month training program with Real Madrid last year.

READ MORE: ‘It was always my dream’: Tsartlip teen offered a spot in an international soccer training program

“Really big, native ball, Indigenous soccer is a really big thing in Tsartlip,” said Marquez. “We take it really serious.”

While the 13-year-old will be the second Tsartlip youth to go to Madrid for soccer, there will also be plenty of firsts during his trip.

“Never been on a plane before. It’s my first time,” he said.

Another thing about flights is that they’re expensive. The Caffiero family has launched a fundraiser to help get the Island boy to Spain to compete.

With files from CHEK’s Jordan Cunningham

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