Getting to know. . . Swansea City Under-18s winger Causso Darame
17th December 2015
As part of our new Swans Academy content, we speak to an upcoming talent within the youth ranks at the club.
We continue our in-depth look at the talent within the club with an interview with under-18s winger Causso Darame, who discusses switching Portugal for South Wales, getting lost on his first trip to training and leaving behind a chance to play for Sporting Lisbon.
We are often told that mothers always know best, even if it does not seem like it at the time. In 16-year-old Causso Darame's case, his mother's decision to move him and his family to the UK was truly life changing.
The young winger first arrived in Wales five years ago but admits, had he stayed in Lisbon, he could have been set on a very different path.
"My life changed from that moment," smiles the academy scholar. "When I was younger, all my focus was on football. I did not care about school; I was just always chasing the ball anywhere I could.
"I would get into trouble because my mum was always looking for me, and I would always be out with friends playing football from the morning until the night.
"I arrived in Wales when I was about 11. The move was meant to help me improve my discipline and education in school.
"At the time, I did not want to move because I had been having trials with Sporting Lisbon's academy and there was a good chance that they would sign me.
"But my mum put her foot down and assured me that the move would work out and that I would find a club to play for in the UK."
Darame swapped the Portuguese capital for the Welsh one as he continued his education in Cardiff alongside his brothers and sisters, leaving behind the life he knew in the Iberian country.
The teenager's passion for football, however, travelled with him to Wales - helping him battle through one of the most challenging periods of his life.
"The move here was very difficult for me at the beginning," admits Darame. "I had to get used to the language, make new friends and learn a new culture.
"The first few months were the hardest. I told my family I wanted to go back home to Portugal.
"But my ambition to play football kept driving me on - all I cared about was finding a new club to play for.
"In 2012 I was introduced to a scout from Swansea City and they offered me a trial, giving me a chance to impress in a friendly match against a South Wales XI.
"I managed to score two goals which earned me a place at the academy. I was so happy, and I haven't looked back since being given that opportunity."
It didn't take long for Darame to make an impression at Swans Academy, with his searing pace and flamboyant skill down the wing catching the eye.
But, in particular, the Portuguese player's determination to succeed has been most impressive of all.
"Because I have younger brothers and sisters that need looking after, my mum could not make the journey to drop me off and pick me up," says Darame on his initial journey to the academy.
"When I first started, I would get the train from Cardiff and then cycle to Landore.
"At times, it was all on me to make sure I made it to training, but that has helped me grow up and mature much faster.
"I remember that I was late for my first training session because I got lost. When I arrived I had to explain that I had just walked for about an hour because I didn't know where the academy was.
"The coaches were impressed with the commitment I had made to come on my own, but travel is no longer a problem for me because I am part of the Cwmtawe-Academy school link-up, so I get the bus after class.
"I believe that doing things for myself at a younger age has helped strengthen me as a person."
Darame knows he will need that strength, determination and ambition as he battles to help the Under-18s in their first season at category one level, with the prospect of a professional contract one day on the horizon.
And he admits he dreams of following in the footsteps of one of his national heroes.
"I try to play like Ronaldo or Neymar - they are the players I have grown-up watching," he adds.
"Ronaldo is my hero though. His hard-work ethic is a great example for young players like me - I would like to be like him.
"I always try to be skilful and fast to cause as much trouble as possible on the wing. I need to continue to do that this season.
"Category one is much harder than last season, but it is helping us develop as a team and the hard work is paying because we are improving.
"My aim is to play as many games as possible, get a few goals and assists and keep progressing my game with the hope of putting myself in contention for the Under-21s squad at the end of the season.
"It is going to be a hard two years, but I am loving life as a Swans scholar. The players, the staff and the coaches help me a lot.
"I think it is fair to say that mum did know best."