For about four minutes in Dominica’s World Cup Qualifying game against Panama on March 28, fans held out hope of salvaging a point, or perhaps a win, in the team’s quest to reach Qatar 2022. In the 82nd minute of play Audel Laville had smashed an audacious left footed half-volley from about twenty-five yards out, to equalize for Dominica.
Though the goal came in a losing 2-1 effort, it shone a bright spotlight on the 18-year-old, begging the question, who is Audel Laville?
Hailing from the community of Mahaut, Laville is a product of the Newtown Juvenile Football Academy. He discovered his love for the game at age four under the tutelage of the likes of Don Leogal and Albert Titre, honing his skills in the strike and midfield positions.
“It was immediately recognized he would be a special talent,” his Coach, Don Leogal tells eMAGE.
“Once Audel maintains his discipline in his personal life and in sports he is one to look for. Scoring against a team like Panama confirms his ability as a player. He is the future of Dominica’s football for sure,” says Albert Titre, a coach at the Newtown Juvenile Football Academy.
Slight in stature, the 5’ 10” Laville is described as an “excellent reader of the game who excels as a striker and finisher.” As he developed his skills, his coaches noted his stand-out ability to cross the ball and his speedy forward runs in the push for goal.
As a schoolboy, he represented the Convent Preparatory School in the U13 Primary Schools Football Tournament and the St. Mary’s Academy at U13, U15 and U17, winning championships at the U15 & U17 divisions. He captained the Dominica U20 national team in the CONCACAF U20 qualifying football tournament in 2020.
A member of the Harlem United Sports & Community Club since age 15, Laville is credited as an integral part of the club’s success. He featured in Harlem’s win of the Dominica Football Association (DFA) U20 Championship in 2019, back to back Division One Championships in 2019 & 2020 and the DFA Premier Division Recovery Cup Knockout Championship in 2020. Laville was named the DFA 2020 Youth Player of the Year and the Harlem United 2020 Footballer of the Year.
In November, 2019 the then 16-year-old Laville became the youngest player ever to score in the CONCACAF’s Nation’s League with his first senior international goal for Dominica in a one-nil victory against St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Coming off the bench as a substitute in Sunday’s game, his picture perfect goal was a bright spot amid the disappointment of Dominica’s losses in the qualifying games. It supports the call for greater investment in young players and sets the stage for an outpouring of interest, and action, from the private sector and government in the development of players, like Laville, who show promise.
Don Leogal, Garvin Richards and Albert Titre contributed to this profile.
Photos Courtesy: Don Leogal
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