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Wealdstone striker Jefferson Louis happier on the pitch and in the classroom

PUBLISHED: 12:00 22 January 2015

Wealdstone striker Jefferson Louis (left)

Wealdstone striker Jefferson Louis (left)

Archant

Jefferson Louis put the needs of his students first when it came to the latest stop on his well-travelled footballing journey.

The veteran striker made Wealdstone the 32nd club – three of which he’s played for twice – on his lengthy CV during a career which has seen him labelled by some as a matchwinner for hire.

However, it seems something far more honourable than the buck prompted the Harrow-born journeyman to return to his roots.

When not strutting his stuff on the field, the 35-year-old now works as a mentor/teaching assistant/PE teacher at Brent Riverside College in Kingsbury.

And when the club where he began the campaign, Lowestoft, were shunted from Conference South to North he soon decided his work with the teenagers was coming a poor second to his football exploits.

“All the travelling with Lowestoft took a lot out of me and it just made me feel I wasn’t giving the kids the 100 per cent commitment they needed, he said.

“That’s why I had to leave because my main job is with the kids and I was not really giving them Jefferson.

“I would find myself being moody because the travelling was doing me in, so when Wealdstone came in for me I knew about them from playing against them last year with Hendon and, having done my reasearch, I knew Gordon was a good manager to play for.”

Louis’ work at Brent Riverside suggests he is already planning for life after football and this is his way of putting something back into the sport.

He has a somewhat colourful past, serving a six-month sentence for dangerous driving while disqualified when he was 21, while he is written into FA Cup folklore as the man who danced naked on the dressing-room treatment table in full view of the TV cameras when Oxford drew Arsenal in the FA Cup third round in December 2002.

Consequently, as well as hoping to unearth the next big thing in the sport, Louis feels he can pass on important life lessons for challenging teenagers who have already fallen foul of the education system.

“It’s a calling for me really,” he said, “Because I came from that kind of background where I was a bit lost and needed a bit of guidance.

“I’m going to do a bit of psychology as well as I want to get inside the heads of these kids who misbehave and have made a few mistakes.

“Some have already been chucked out of secondary school, but hopefully we can get them back into mainstream.

“And some of them do have dreams to become professional footballers, so hopefully I can help by giving them some of the experience I’ve gained over the years to help them fulfil those dreams.”

On the field it has not been the best of starts for the striker who banged in 30 plus goals for Hendon in the Ryman League Premier Division last season.

A niggle saw him pulled out of his debut at home to Sutton last month before the game reached half-time and, with Stones on a good run, he has been restricted since to substitute appearances.

Consequently he has found it hard finding a place in the affections of Stones’ demanding fans, though his latest cameo on Saturday where he came off the bench to provide the assist for the final goal of a 4-2 win was a positive step in the right direction.

He admits it has been a frustrating start, but says his record with the Greens last term shows that, given a run of starts, his scoring record stands up to scrutiny.

He added: “It has been frustrating because I want to play longer in games. Strikers play instinctively and last year with Gary [McCann], when I had a bad game, he still played me in the next one and I scored loads of goals.

“At the moment any minutes I get it is up to me to show the gaffer I should be in his starting XI.”


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