Sol Solomon has impressed the Jersey football community throughout his youth days, and rightly so. A tricky player who brings excitiment to spectators through his skill and top class football ability, Solomon has a bright future ahead of him.
Daniel Andrade caught up with the Jersey Bulls and St Peter star, talking trials and ambitions as well as what it is like to play alongside his uncle. It is a great interview!
Firstly, have you always been into sport?
Yeah, I’ve always loved sport as a kid growing up. I used to do anything I could in primary and secondary, apart from rugby, that one is not for me!
Has football always been number one?
Football has always been the number one. I think from an early age I always had a ball at my feet to play with. Football would always be on the TV and I’d always be dressed in a Liverpool or Rangers kit growing up. As for first memories of football I’d say watching Liverpool Vs Everton at Anfield when I was about 5 or 6. It finished 0-0 but it’s one that sticks in my memory.
Who was your footballing icon growing up?
Obviously Steven Gerrard as a Red, watching him all my life growing up as a kid he’s definitely number 1 for me. I also liked watching Coutinho as well when he was at liverpool, he’s a joke with the ball like a little magician.
Have you always been an attacking player?
Yeah, from what I can remember my dad has always made sure I was a striker. He always wants me scoring goals so I don’t think I really had any other option!! I did go through a phase of wanting to be a keeper when I was about 11, but I quickly snapped out of that one.
You were always around older people playing football from a young age because of your dad. Did that help develop you as a player?
Yeah I’d say so. Obviously training with 18 year olds when your 14 develops how you play. You have to be smarter with how you play almost. I think if I had just trained with my age group at that time it would’ve taken me longer to develop as a player.
Your dad is a coach and used to play, and Luke Campbell is your uncle. How influential have they been to you?
Yeah my dad was really influential for me. He coached me right the way up until U18s from u8s I think it was. I used to hate going to football when I was young because I was dead shy and I think if he hadn’t coached me when I was younger I would’ve struggled a bit. Obviously with Luke as well, being my uncle, I used to watch him near enough every Saturday when he played at Scottish. Watching him be successful and winning loads of trophies made me want to play and do the same really.
And to now play with Luke. How special is that?
Yeah I’d say it’s quite special to play with a family member week in week out. I’ve always said when I was old enough to play senior football I’d want to go and play with him wherever he was, luckily he joined St. Peter’s so I didn’t have to go anywhere!
Was it an easy decision to play for Jersey Bulls?
I’d say it was yeah. To play in England every other week against teams we don’t know anything about was a no brainer for me. The chance to move up the football pyramid as well is a great motivator for me and I’m sure the boys as well.
You have had many trials too – do you remember your first trial? How nervous were you?
Yeah my first one was when I was 15 I think, at Gillingham down in Canterbury, I actually wasn’t nervous I was just dead excited because I’d never had one before and I just wanted to see what it was all about.
How much have you enjoyed and learnt from the trials?
Going away to professional clubs definitely makes you change your game. In jersey you get more time on the ball and get longer to make decisions whereas in England you get 2-3 touches max before it’s gone again. You have to be sharp otherwise you’ll stick out like a sore thumb. I’d say I have enjoyed going away and getting the experience, coming back here and trying to keep that same level that I play at when I’m away.
And most recently you were at Dover. Tell us more about how that came about and how it went?
I was at Dover at the end of August for a couple of weeks and it came about through Darren Hare. He originally scouted me for Gillingham when I was younger and had always kept an eye on me. He’d seen I’d been going back to Gillingham and been to Millwall, so he got in contact with my dad and invited me down for a couple weeks. It went well if I’m honest. I had the chance to play for the first team on two occasions in tough games too which was great. The feedback was good from the manager and the coaching staff, but as it has been for a lot of things, COVID caused too many complications. I’ll keep going and see what happens next.
What are the aims for the season, both for the Bulls and personally?
I think the aims this season for the team is obviously promotion again. I think a run in the FA Vase is a group aim from all of us. Personally I’d like to score and assist as many goals as possible, play as many games as I can and perform consistently week in week out.
Finally, what are your aims for the future?
My aims for the future are to just keep doing what I’m doing. I’ve been given things to work on by some clubs so I’ll be focusing on doing those. I hope that I’ll be offered something sooner rather than later but we have to just wait and see. Hopefully COVID bounces soon as well!