Footballer thriving in Mexico

Rico Patrocinio would love nothing more than to join the ranks of his favourite players Cristiano Ronaldo and Javier Hernandez.

Rico Patrocinio has been improving his soccer skills since joining Estudiantes Tecos in Mexico.

Rico Patrocinio would love nothing more than to join the ranks of his favourite players Cristiano Ronaldo and Javier Hernandez.

“They are so smart, just the way they play with so much passion,” said Patrocinio, of his footy heroes.

The South Okanagan Youth Soccer Association product moved to Guadalajara, Mexico in January where he tried out and earned a spot with Estudiantes Tecos under-16 youth team, which plays at the top tier level. Through a family contact, Patrocinio was able to make an impression on the Tecos coaching staff.

“The experience has been amazing,” said Patrocinio, who returned to Penticton to spend Easter with family. “It’s just so much different there because soccer here and soccer there is totally different. Competitively, it’s like hockey here.”

While the Tecos have won eight of their 10 games, it took Patrocinio a few games to find his comfort level. He discovered how quickly plays must be made as the opposition doesn’t give players much time with the ball. Once Patricinio figured things out, he took off collecting three assists while earning the acceptance of his teammates.

“I’m playing as good as I ever have,” said Patrocinio, a centre midfielder.

Patrocinio takes nothing for granted and realizes he has to work for playing time, which has provided him an inner determination.

“I thought, Oh yeah, I will make pro,” he said. “Now that I’m there, I really have to work harder.”

To get as far as he has, Patrocinio has had to make many sacrifices, one of them being leaving his family. While he was joined by his sister Emily, and has some family support on his mother’s side, Patrocinio said it took time to adjust to being away from his family here, especially his father Tony.

“My son and I have been really close friends for a long time,” said Tony. “He has been with me since he was four. Always hanging around me doing the work that I enjoy doing.”

Tony admits it’s hard not having his son around, but wanted to reward him for being a good kid.

“It’s a life experience,” said Tony, who owns Skaha Meadows Golf Course and does landscaping work. “It was hard to send him away but a little easier because my daughter went with him.”

Since the two reunited during Easter, father and son did what they enjoy best, working on the golf course and doing landscape work. Oh, and playing soccer.

“Just talking more as friends than father and son because that is the way our relationship has been built,” said Tony. “Lots of memories kicking the ball. He has always loved soccer.”

Tony has watched his son’s games on the Internet and seen photos, but is planning a trip to watch him. Tony has seen maturity in his son and from the feedback he has heard, knows his son is improving his soccer skills.


“He has a lot more confidence and it’s a different game down there,” said Tony. “It’s not physical, it’s more based on the ability of the player. They really push the players. His touches on the ball

certainly improved.”



Just Posted

Penticton Subway making it fresh for Soupateria

Subway shops are donating 600 inches of subs, 100 cookies and drinks to Soupateria Dec. 20

What’s shaking at the museum

Kids got to learn about earthquakes Saturday at the museum.

All aboard the Summerland Christmas Express

The first train of the Summerland Christmas Express schedule.

Vees drop heartbreaker in West Kelowna, host Teddy Bear Toss Saturday

Penticton loses overtime game to West Kelowna Warriors

Apex hosting Canadian selections mogul event

Apex Freestyle Club along with some local competitors from the B.C. Freestyle Ski team are competing

All aboard the Summerland Christmas Express

The first train of the Summerland Christmas Express schedule.

Kamloops RCMP warning public to stay away from unfolding domestic dispute

The public is being asked to avoid Sabiston Creek Road off of the highway

Owl found dead after eating rat poison leaves B.C. woman concerned

After finding the owl on her Surrey property, Christine Trozzo says the poison is a concern for kids

Change to CPP death benefit panned as insufficient to cover funeral costs

Funeral Services Association of Canada lobbied governments to raise the value to $3,580

#MeToo at work: Employers play a role in fixing culture of sexual harassment

B.C. workplaces are getting ahead of being the next MeToo debacle, calling on experts to train staff

Column: Make it a green Christmas

Instead of purchasing a cuddly stuffie this year, put your money towards helping the real thing.

B.C. woman brain injured in crash as a baby gets $1.1 million in damages

Trial heard the woman was 16 months old, being carried by her mother when they were both hit

Interior Health holding immunization clinic in Vernon Saturday

IH issues list of Okanagan meningococcal immunization clinics

Court denies WestJet’s bid to toss out discrimination lawsuit of former worker

Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination

Most Read