Sébastien Lauture, a 17 year old Haitian centre back, has just signed for Cultural y Deportiva Leonesa following a 3 year spell with Marcet.
Sébastien Lauture was only 14 when he told his mum that he wanted to leave home, his town and his country. He had just returned from a trip to Barcelona, which is where he understood that to progress he needed to live and breathe European Football. Haiti wasn’t enough for him. His ambition required a lot more and better.
“In Haiti football is by far the most popular sport, but the level here isn’t very high”, explains the defender. “This is why I told my mum that I wanted to make the move into the right direction in becoming a professional player. I wanted to learn my trade in Barcelona”.
His family perfectly understood the situation. “In Haiti, football is the national sport, but there aren’t any real opportunities for the kids. At 17, a player is already considered a veteran, because there isn’t much more that they can do to progress”, commented Sébastien’s mother whilst talking with Marcet during her son’s first few days in Barcelona. “It’s up to us, the parents, to make the moves and make huge sacrifices in order for our kids to turn their dreams into realities”.
“The thing that impressed us most about Marcet when we got here was the infrastructure and organisation they have”, recalls Béatrice Lauture. “When we saw the amount of people at the training sessions, we realised that this wasn’t like our little clubs in Haiti. We were struck by the technical level and the pace of the game. On the pitch there isn’t much time to think. Players need to be quick and intelligent”.
The speed of decision making is usually one of the biggest differences between European football from others. According to Carlos Rivero, Marcet High Performance Academy’s head coach, football matches in the Caribbean and Latin America have certain points in the match where players can take a breather, which can be disruptive when it comes to optimal performance. “Players from there are used to being in ‘stand by’ mode often, and here we work rigorously to avoid this. By reducing transition times to the minimum is decisive in order to have potential in Europe”.
A potential that Sébastien is acquiring, even though his start here wasn’t the easiest. He had to adapt to a different style of football and a new language. But in a question of months the centre back took off and cemented his a place as a starter in Marcet’s U-19s first squad. “In the three years I’ve been here, I’ve improved on all aspects. I’ve improved defensively as well as offensively. I’ve progressed on all terrains. And I hope to improve even more”, commented the Haitian defender.
“Bit by bit, Sébastien has overcome all setbacks”, explains Rivero. “This has made him much stronger and has enabled him to become, to this present day, a more reliable player”. Proof of this is in the fact that he is now battling it out at Cultural y Deportiva Leonesa. With the Juvenil A team, Sébastien has already won a personal title, being named best player of the Carling Goal Tournament, in which other historical squads sucha as Oviedo, Sporting de Gijón or Valladolid participated. An especially important award for a center back, since it’s not easy for a defender to get this type of recognitions.
How was it possible for a Haitian footballer to sign for one of the most prestigious sides in Spain’s grassroots football scene and to be summoned by the Haiti National Team to participate in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games’ playoff? Improving as an individual and taking full advantage of opportunities. “At Marcet, every match is an opportunity to be spotted. You always have to be prepared, because you never know who is watching. I got the chance to play against CF Damm, and from there they signed me. Everyone has come here with the aim of becoming a professional footballer. It’s my dream and it’s also everyone else’s who comes to Marcet. Now a professional spanish club has decided to trust Lauture as a promising footballer.