Qiff Kerala FC, Qatari side captain, Cameroonian, Berinyuy Lawong is confident that the indomitable Lions are going to spring surprises during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Nicknamed Cameroon in Qatar, the Tobin boy says what the Indomitable Lions need is motivation. The 22 year old right back crowned best defender of the Ramadan Tourney dreams of playing for the national team and admires the role Joel Matip (like the late Marc Vivien Foe) plays in the national team. In an interview with lions4life.com, Berinyuy Lawong says he thinks the local championship can produce quality players if given attention.
Could you start by telling us a bit of your football background?
Football has been my dream game and profession from childhood. I am blessed to have grown up as a ‘kapa’ youth of Tobin in Kumbo, Northwest region of Cameroon. Kapa is a registered association in Tobin that promotes the welfare youths especially through sports activities. This is my humble beginning and i still train with Kapa when I am home. My first major competition at the age of 11 was the Top Cup organized and sponsored by Les Brasseries du Cameroon. Subsequently, as a prolific player, I took part in other competitions like the Babara’s Cup, BuiFoot League. I left the country at the age of 19 for Nigeria, where I played with the junior team of Lobby Stars of Makurdi. I came back to the country and in 2010 I joined Edu Sports Academy of Kumbo, which is now playing the regional league in Cameroon. In 2012, I left for Qatar where I played the International Amateur with Lazoe Ultimatum for six months before moving to my present club, Qiff Kerala FC a third division side.
Why did you leave the country?
Football is a talent that can be developed home and abroad. Since I believed i had gotten some home experience I thought it was time to build experience in a foreign country.
How do you find the level of football in Qatar compared to Cameroon?
Football in Qatar is not too advanced compared to Cameroon, the infrastructure –play grounds are by far advanced, well-constructed, care and special attention given to players thus helping them to deliver better. But we have got talents back home.
What have been some of your achievements as a footballer?
I am playing now for Qiff Kerala FC, as the team captain, the season has not really been a good one, we are at the 7th position out of 16 in the league table with few matches left. I was two times best defender in the BuiFoot tournaments and best defender of the Ramadan Cup and now the team Captain of Qiff Kerala FC. The international exposure is getting me more experiences and chatting with senior players makes me look ahead with so much confidence. So I aspire to improve in my career as much as opportunities come.
What is your appreciation of the Indomitable Lions as they prepare for the World Cup?
I can tell you that one of the things that Cameroon is recognized for world-wide is football as a result of the good performance of the national team in the past years. My football nickname in Qatar is Cameroon, how does it
sound when an individual is called by his country’s name. This keeps me alert always and reminds me that one day I may be called to serve my country. It is also motivating me to keep the flag of Cameroon flying out here. The national team was good but in recent times struggling. One thing is certain that the team kept on fighting to qualify for the World Cup and we have to trust in the team and talents. This team can always spring surprise when we least expect. I feel the team needs just a little motivation to make us proud in Brazil. We have young and ambitious players who can make a difference and there is a lot in store for the World Cup in the Lions’ den, I bet.
What do you think of local players making a career in football in Cameroon?
I think local players with great talents have the opportunity to excel for example Aboubakar Vincent, who was picked up from our local league to the national team. He is now playing in a big club in Europe. There are many like him in Cameroon, who can make it out here. The only thing is that the league just needs some special attention for it to grow and many players will do better and even best.
Who is you idol in the national team?
My idol is Joel Matip. He is quite young and talented. When i look at his role at club and national team, i just say Cameroon has talents. He is just like the late Foe in his role. He is one of the players people don’t see very much in a match but whose role is very primordial. Also, Samuel Eto’o Fils is such a leader and as a captain of the team i will like to copy from him. He wants things to go well for our national team. I admire him for this. And when i look at what he is doing to help develop football talents in Cameroon and Africa, i just say he is God sent.
What are your personal ambitions?
Nothing is better than serving your nation. My greatest wish is to defend the national colours. This is the dream of every player. I will gladly pick up any opportunity given to make my country proud. I wish to be a world renowned player.
What are your plans for the future?
My target is to get a big club and why not play in the junior national team where i will have the opportunity to serve the country.