Wed | Apr 1, 2020

International agent turns spotlight on local talent

Published:Saturday | December 29, 2018 | 12:04 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer
International football agent Zouhair Essikal.
Marcel Gayle

International football agent Zouhair Essikal of Belgium says he will be paying close attention to the talent on display when Waterhouse FC host Maltese club St Andrews FC in an international charity match at the Waterhouse Football Stadium tomorrow.

The match is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. This game will be preceded by an Under-17 clash between Waterhouse and Phoenix Academy starting at 5 p.m.

Essikal, who was invited to the island by president of St Andrews FC Craig Butler, currently works for Base Soccer Agency, one of the biggest football agencies in the world.

He told The Gleaner that he is very happy for the opportunity to come to the island and look at the Jamaican players.

"I am very grateful, and I am thanking Craig for inviting me to come and watch the games and watch the local talent," said Essikal.

"We are working with a lot of different countries, but as I said, this country deserves to be more scouted by clubs. One of my roles is to watch them and to advise clubs to come here," he said.

Essikal, who is visiting the island for the first time, pointed out that he is familiar with the Caribbean style as he has been to neighbours Haiti in the past.

"I went to Haiti, and I know two guys from their national team who are now playing in Europe," he said.

Essikal, who was in attendance at Waterhouse on Thursday morning to watch training with both teams, said he was pleased with what he saw.

"Despite the field, which was not good, I saw that the players have the idea to do what they have to do," said Essikal.

Meanwhile, head coach of Waterhouse Marcel Gayle said his players are eagerly looking forward to the opportunity to display their football talent in front of Essikal.

"It is great opportunity for the players to showcase their talent, and I think this is a good platform for the local players to go up against international players, including Kyle Butler and Leon Bailey," said Gayle.

"It is also a good opportunity for my players to show me what they have ahead of the restart of the Premier League season next month," he said.