Thursday 25th February 2021
OUR next A-Z subject is left back and reigning Sonstrust young player of the year, Rico Quitongo, who has some interesting answers to our questions!
Rico comes from a famous footballing family (all of whom are mentioned here) and won his award last season after playing in 31 of our 35 fixtures in all competitions.
This season he has played in 11 of our 13 games, missing only two cup ties. He is a firm fans’ favourite and, as you’ll read, he’s taken the club to his heart too.
Many thanks for taking the time to answer our questions Rico, and hopefully you’ll be back to the pitch soon.
Enjoy his answers everybody!
Award – What did it mean to you to be named as Sonstrust Young Player of the Year last season?
Being named young player of the season was massive for me as a player as it was my first year in senior football, but at the same time I set standards for myself and young player was one of those targets. I achieved it, so delighted like I said.
Booze – What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen on a football team night out?
Reserve nights out at Hamilton were always good laughs and Dublin with the Dumbarton boys was too funny, but pre-Covid a few boys went out. I sadly couldn’t make it but some guy had a full packet of juicy fruit in his ear and was telling people he couldn’t hear and could be deaf. The guy knows who he was.
Celebrations – What goal have you enjoyed celebrating most as a Sons player so far?
He’ll love me for saying this, but got to be Carsy’s shot which was going out for a throw-in but took eight deflections and went in against Raith Rovers last season. Coldest game ever played in but was some day to have played that well in those conditions and get a last minute winner. Special mention for my brother’s goal (against Forfar three days later) which was a nice moment even though he should’ve scored a hat-trick that night. But to be sharing pitch with him was special.
Dumbarton – How are you enjoying life with the club and how challenging are the current circumstances?
I love Dumbarton from coaches to the office staff to team-mates, just a great wee club. Times are tough right now but we’ve all just gotta stay positive because although we can’t train or play, we as players can work on different things to our games. So as long as you are staying positive and keeping the faith you can keep working until we get the all clear to start back.
Euro 2021 – Who do you think will win it and why?
Won’t be interested in it unless the Bull (David Turnbull – see below) is there.
Fans – Has played behind closed doors made you wish that they could be in the stadium? What would be your message to them?
It’s been great to be back playing and all that but to be honest it’s been brutal from being at the Rock with the young team singing about me, to being away at Clyde or Peterhead and one guy yelling to me that I’m brutal like my dad – which is harsh on him.
Golf – Do you have any other leisure pursuits outwith football?
I tried golf but I’m like Happy Gilmore, but take six inches off the grass. I enjoy watching basketball as I’m 6ft too small to play it, and always enjoy boxing (would back myself against anyone in our team except big Nat – he’s my bro).
Hearts – What did you gain from your time in the youth setup at Tynecastle?
That I wasn’t good enough, LOL! Nah, to be honest going there was the best thing to happen. Of course I was released and a shoulder injury didn’t stand me in good stead, but seeing top pros there train everyday was amazing and seeing how genuine guys like Steven Naismith, Kyle Lafferty and Aaron Hughes could be to young boys with me was brilliant. And after being released and taking a year out, that has made me wisen up, grow in confidence and give me that fire in my belly to get back to that level I was once at and progress even more.
iTunes – Who are your favourite bands/musical artists?
I listen to everything but top three bands are JLS, Migos and N-Dubz. Artist top five got to be Michael Jackson/Chris Brown joint number one, Alicia Keys third, 50 Cent fourth and Kanye West fifth. Special mentions to Drake, Krept and Konan, Fredo and Justin Bieber (I was and still am a Belieber).
Jim Duffy – What do you feel you’ve gained from working with the Sons boss?
The gaffer – never heard a bad word said about him and never will from me. I’ve known him from his Morton days with Jai and the way Jai spoke about him and way he was with my family I always wanted to be coached by him. So when the opportunity came up I was buzzing. I feel I’ve grown a lot as a person and player, we constantly speak and not always about football which is massive nowadays. He gives me a lot of confidence and I’ve developed my defensive game and offensively, as I used to struggle with that side but the gaffer always believed I can add that side to my game and I feel this season I have.
Knowledge – Who’s the most intelligent player you’ve played alongside?
Played with a lot of non-educated boys and I probably fall into that category, but big Jonesy probably wins it. In saying that, the big man can do equations but struggles with passing boxes. You be the judge on that.
Left back – That’s the position you play for Dumbarton, but have you ever tried playing in any other positions on the field?
I started off at Hamilton as winger as a youth player then found myself in centre midfield which I loved – could see me being in the Makelele role. Would love the gaffer to give me a game in there but I would play anywhere for that man – hopefully he sees this.
Mates – Who are your best ones in football?
I’ve made a lot of friends from football and am still in contact from boys I played with at Hamilton and Hearts. But in my PS4 party I’ve got Crispy F (Jon McCracken – Norwich), the Greyhound (Jake Hastie – Rangers) and the Bull (David Turnbull). Doylee’s double (Tony Watt) Verdansk hates us. Again I try to keep it quiet but my little cousin is Angel Gomes who played with Man United so that basically means I’m mates with Rashy, J-Lingz and Pog, doesn’t it ?
Nou Camp – What’s the best stadium you’ve played in?
I really enjoyed Pittodrie and I enjoyed Morton as the supporters abuse you from first whistle to last.
OMG – Ever played, or fallen for, any practical jokes in football?
A few days after I’d just signed for Hearts I wanted to let the boys know there was a new sheriff in town. I grabbed what I thought were Jamie Brandon’s clothes and I rubbed a full tub of deep heat in the inside of his boxers, only to find out they were Andy Irving’s instead. He was a bit raging but some say his Davina McCalls haven’t cooled down yet.
Passport – What’s your favourite holiday destination?
Australia was unbelievable. I was selected to go over there to represent North Lanarkshire at the International Children’s Games with Jake Hastie and David Turnbull. It was an amazing places and hopefully one day I could get back over there.
Quitongo family – Is there much sibling rivalry between you and Jai in terms of your football careers?
Of course everyone with brothers has the same rivalry but it was good when Jai was here for me personally as I wanted to maybe prove to him I’m not his little brother and in fact I’m me. But we continue to push each other and watch our games back and we’ll go over what we would’ve done if we were in that position and vice versa. He might have the goals but I have the looks, so who’s actually winning?
Referee – Would you ever consider becoming one?
Ha ha – next question.
Screen time – What are your
favourite TV shows/movies?
Prison Break and Dexter are my all time favourite series – top tier, so they are. As for movies, Remember The Titans, Shark Tale and Bad Boys 2 – unbelievable movies.
Time machine – If you could go back and watch/play in any game as supporter/player, which one would it be?
Probably to the game my dad had to go off the park for a number two. To this day managers might say to me or people’s dads and I still don’t understand it.
Up to sing – What would be your karaoke song if you had to do it?
Not gonna lie – I’ve got a decent voice and love karaoke. The way you make me feel by MJ, Alicia Keys’ Fallin’ or R Kelly – The World’s Greatest.
Vicious – What’s the angriest scene you’ve witnessed in a dressing room after a game?
Never really seen an angry scene from reserves or Dumbarton. The only off vibe I’ve had is when Jai scored for Morton and knocked Accies out of the cup. I was obviously with the Accies reserves and was made to mop the floors that full week. #quitongoeffect
Wardrobe – Which player you’ve played alongside has the worst dress sense?
A few boys’ styles are horrific who I’ve played with but these two guys top it. I played with Marc Kelly at Accies and I think he fell out with his iron every morning and also dressed like a goth for a night out. The absolute worst has to be Jesus Garcia Tena. The guy was sponsored with Lotto and wore Lotto jeans everyday. They were boot cuts so his jeans were swallowing his Lotto shoes, which was a good thing.
X-ray – Ever had any particularly nasty injuries?
My shoulder operation which kept me out for a total of 10 months was hard, as I was released in the summer and my op wasn’t until the November, so no team was gonna sign a player knowing they needed an op. At first I didn’t want the op as it was coming out every few days and although it was agony I just wanted to be with a team. But my mum sat me down and begged me to take it and not to worry as she believed I’d get my shoulder back fully stronger and I’d find a team – and she was right. I only started to feel my shoulder strength was back to normal from probably February of last season so during the first lockdown I kept working on it and touch wood, it’s strong as it’ll ever be.
You’re winding me up – Who are the best and worst patter merchants that you’ve played alongside and why?
For the best banter there’s been a few. Eamonn Brophy is hilarious and doesn’t even mean it, and Louis Longridge is a funny guy too. At Dumbarton Kyle Hutton was a big kid and daft as a brush. For terrible banter, there are a lot of victims here. Sam Wardrop is the nicest guy ever but the most boring 23-year-old ever. Carsy just talks a lot of nonsense 24/7 – more than me. And at Hearts, Euan Henderson was a nice guy too but was too involved with rugby and put me to sleep a few times. Hamilton-wise, all the boys had good banter.
Zidane – Who’s your all time favourite player and why?
Ashley Cole and no-one comes near it. He’s just everything I want to be as a player – not biggest or tallest but the heart of a lion which is massive for me. Current players I love watching is Kieran Tierney (fellow Wishaw man), Sancho and Mbappe – all exciting players in their own ways.