James Rowe spoke to Canadian forward Richie Ennin for WFi. They discussed his time in the Toronto FC academy, playing alongside Sebastian Giovinco in training, and a desire to play in a World Cup for Canada.
You came through the academy at Toronto FC in Canada. How do you look back on your time there and did you learn anything in particular that has stood you in good stead for your future career as a professional footballer?
“Yes, I have great memories from my time at Toronto FC. I arrived at the academy in 2012 and I spent four years there and I learned many things both on and off the pitch.
“It was just a great time and it really influenced my career in terms of development.
“I learned a lot about being professional and how to go about day to day life and how to eat well and take care of myself as a professional footballer.”
How do you look back on your time in Italy, playing in Serie D in Italy with U.S. Castrovillari Calcio?
“I reflect on my time in Italy as one of the most important parts of my career so far. When I arrived in Italy from Toronto I did not speak any Italian and I did not know anybody and I was by myself.
“I had to stay mentally strong and remind myself that I am there for a purpose and it ended up going well, and I can now speak Italian after learning the language, and I also understand a lot.
“I also became accustomed to a different style of football, and it is another thing that I can add to my game. It was a great experience.”
You are still young and you have experience playing in Italy, Latvia and have also represented Canada at youth international level. Could you say who are the players you have played alongside so far in your career that have made the biggest impression?
“I would have to say Sebastian Giovinco from my time training with the Toronto FC first team.
“I remember my first ever training session and the things I would see him do on TV he would also do in training — it was just amazing to watch.
“He could do literally anything that he wanted too with the ball, left foot, right foot and also taking free kicks. It inspired me to get better and become the best player that I can be.”
I can imagine in your position as a striker that you have come up against difficult opponents. Are there any that stand out for you?
“I remember I played a friendly against Spartak Moscow and that was very much a different level than what I was used too.
“I really had to buckle down and focus and really play well because the opponents that I was playing against were really talented and the way they executed their positional play and utilized space was very impressive.”
Finally, Richie, you are still very young but you have accrued a lot of experience so far in your career. What would you ideally like to achieve in your career as a professional footballer?
“I would like to play in one of the top five European leagues, England, Germany, Italy, Spain, or France.
“I would particularly relish playing in the Premier League for my favourite team Manchester United, that would be amazing.
“I want to become an important player and to go on to have experiences of playing Champions League football, and also hopefully one day play in a World Cup for Canada.”