Ericson Kiprono For Hillary Kiprotich, football has been his cup of tea since he learnt the ropes of playing professional soccer. Born in Tulwet Village in Bureti Sub County in 2006, Kiprotich honed his skills very early as he helped his school reach the national level during the primary schools games. Now a Standard Seven pupil at Shiners Academy in Roret, Kiprotich also plays for Tulwet FC, a Nationwide league side, where he is a striker and has also had a stint with the junior national team. Knowing his parents would not approve of his love for football, Kiprotich would sneak from home during weekends to the nearby Tulwet stadium where he peeped through the fence to watch friendly matches, telling himself that one day, he would be doing exactly that. \u201cPlaying soccer is my talent and I am therefore prepared to nurture it to an extent that I will play in the national team and even in the European leagues,\u201d says Kiprotich, who joined Tulwet FC when he was in Standard Five. \u201cIt is my pleasure playing for this club and I am working hard together with my team-mates to ensure we take Tulwet FC to the next level. I set my eyes on the bigger leagues and the national team and I will achieve this,\u201d he says.\u00a0 His coach, Josphat Korir describes him as a footballer with a vision, saying unlike some others he has coached, Kiprotich is a special talent. \u201cHe is serious in training and this helped him reach the national level during the 2018 primary school games held in Nyeri County,\u201d says Korir, who has ensured Kiprotich trains during weekends so that he has enough time for his studies. But for all his qualities, Kiprotich did not know he had the talent until he was in Standard Three when his headteacher Kennedy Langat spotted his prowess during a physical education (PE) exercise and advised him to pursue football seriously. Langat was also encouraged by the determination of the youngster who has remained grounded even after fame came in.\u00a0 \u201cIt is his humility that has taken him far and I like him for the hard work as well. If it was not for his effort, we would not have reached the national level during the school games competitions. We have always encouraged him after realising he was interested in football,\u201d Langat told People Sport. While it has been assumed that pupils good at sports are academic dwarfs, Kiprotich is the opposite. Langat says the student never misses class and his performance is always above average. The budding footballer, who considers Harambee Stars captain Victor Wanyama as his role model, advises the youth to embrace their talents since it can easily become their source of livelihood.