Hello everyone, and welcome back to TOG Soccer’s “Being a Pro” spotlight! As stated in our previous article, we will be taking another trip across the Atlantic back to Iceland.
It gives us great pleasure to finally introduce you to Dominic Adams of IBV in the Icelandic Premier League (1st Division). A native of Trinidad and Tobago, Adams attended highly prestigious youth academies in England including Wolverhampton Wanderers, Birmingham City, and Watford. Additionally, Adams was a member of the Trinidad and Tobago U-17 National Team. Adams then went on to compete collegiately at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma for one season before transferring to Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT where he played his remaining three seasons of NCAA eligibility.
Prior to signing his first professional contract, Adams spent two years with Bridges FC, where he was a member of the team that went across to Europe to compete against clubs such as SBV Vitesse, SC Heerenveen, FC Utrecht, and HB Koge to name a few. In February 2014, Dominic inked a two-year contract with IBV.
First off, Dominic, we cannot thank you enough for taking the time to speak with us here at TOG Soccer!
TOG Soccer: When did you know that playing soccer professionally could be a reality?
Dominic: Even when I was very young, I always knew it could be a reality. My cousin would visit from England and he told me stories about the youth setups over there. I realized then that boys my age were training and playing all the time in competitive environments. Once I learned that, I tried to play everyday and train to keep up with them. I had a fear of not making it, which drove me. I didn’t have access to the same facilities as most but I was willing to work with whatever I had.
TOG Soccer: What has been the most challenging period of your career?
Dominic: There are so many, but each challenge was necessary because I learned certain things from each. It would be a tie between my last season of college soccer when I was playing with an injury and I was not able to do the things I was normally accustomed to doing on the field. The other was the transition from college soccer to dealing with rejections from different professional teams that I was on trial with.
TOG Soccer: To this moment, what is the most gratifying moment of your career?
Dominic: My first start and win as a professional in the Icelandic Cup.
TOG Soccer: How many different trials or combines did you go on before you had your breakthrough?
Dominic: I have been to 3 trials and 3 combines. Before going into each, you always feel like this is the one where I will earn a contract. With combines, there is always the issue of chemistry with the other players that are there. Playing full-sided games with players who do not know each others tendencies can be very difficult. Usually there are around 100-150 players there and teams can change from day to day. It is a very stressful environment. When you do catch the coaches eye, he has a private chat with you afterwards, and you think you have done it. Then, 3-4 days after, you receive an email saying they decided not to sign you, and it is very heart breaking. Rejection was a huge part of my journey, but you just have to keep going.
TOG Soccer: Training on your own no matter the circumstances is crucial to succeeding as a pro. What is your most memorable “crazy” training session?
Dominic: I had a trial with HB Koge in Denmark and it went really well. I loved every minute of it. The coaching staff was very keen too. The players all expected me to be a part of the team. After the trial, I left Denmark as it was the end of the season, expecting to sign for the upcoming season, then the deal fell through. I checked my email, just before I went out to train. I had been training on my own all in preparation for Denmark, so what was I about to train for now? My mind was all over the place as I was walking to the field. I had nothing to look forward to, but training is just what I had to do. I had faith in God that something would happen. So I went out and trained hard. I used my anger to fuel my work out. There is a point in the training where you are just lost in the process, and it helped me get away from thinking about the sudden disappointment.
TOG Soccer: If you had one piece of advice for college players who are going to professional combines and tryouts, what would it be?
Dominic: Before you go to a combine, you want to be fully fit and sharp. You have to go out and be ready for anything. When the time comes, show what you have. Some players will be selfish or over eager to impress, but coaches can spot this. Be patient and play efficiently. It is better to be functional and have an impact on a game than flashy with no impact.
TOG Soccer: Soccer players have an infatuation with soccer boots. What is your all-time favorite pair?
Dominic: My all time favorite boots would have to be the Adidas Predator Mania’s. The white ones with the red tongue are the best boots ever made.
Once again Dominic, everyone at TOG Soccer cannot thank you enough for providing such exclusive information about your career and journey to the professional ranks!
To all the young players out there, please take a moment to watch Dominic’s highlight video from his time with IBV so far, as he demonstrates all the necessary qualities a winger needs to be successful. In particular, notice his ability to sprint into space to receive a pass and his awareness to change speeds as he attacks space and defenders!
Dominic, your story is extremely insightful and you are the definition of “TOG”. I am sure this is the beginning of a long and successful professional career!
Be on the lookout for our next “Being a Pro” spotlight as we will introduce you to a player competing in the USLPRO!