Next-generation Hodges makes mark in JPL
Devonti Hodges was just four months old when his father, Devon Hodges, set the record for the most goals in a Premier League game in Jamaica. Devon Hodges scored 10 times for Rivoli United in a 15-0 hammering of Invaders back in the 2004-2005...
Devonti Hodges was just four months old when his father, Devon Hodges, set the record for the most goals in a Premier League game in Jamaica. Devon Hodges scored 10 times for Rivoli United in a 15-0 hammering of Invaders back in the 2004-2005 season.
Fast-forward to the present, the younger Hodges got his full taste of Jamaica Premier League (JPL) action on Sunday when he turned out for Chapelton Maroons FC in a 0-0 draw against Vere United at the Wembley Centre of Excellence.
While the elder Hodges banged in the goals back in the day, 17-year-old Devonti has been entrusted with preventing goals in a youthful Maroons defensive outfit that includes 20-year-old Jamari Howell and a 22-year-old in Alex Gayle.
Having tasted success with Clarendon College in the recent schoolboy football season, where they won the daCosta Cup and Olivier Shield, Hodges, who played just half an hour of JPL football for Mount Pleasant back in 2021 at 15 years old, is relishing his opportunity of playing full-time in Jamaica’s top flight.
“This is my first full game in the Premier League because I was nursing an injury from the daCosta Cup, but I am back and fit, and looking to claim my spot and make my mark,” said Hodges.
A few weeks ago, Hodges was marking schoolboy strikers, but now the burly centre back has found himself battling senior pros in the premiership, a match-up he believes he can handle despite his tender age.
“The only difference that I see right now with schoolboy football and this level is that you have to move the ball a lot faster; apart from that I know I can manage.”
Hodges and his club have their work cut out in this season’s competition as the Lenworth Hyde-coached Maroons currently lie 11th in the table, with just 10 points from nine games.
The league debutants have just two wins and two draws with five defeats, including a 5-0 hammering from Arnett Gardens to start the new year.
With a plethora of youth players from the Clarendon College set-up as well as a few wily pros from the league, Hodges believes it is only a matter of time before the Maroons find their footing and advance up the JPL table.
“We have to just continue to work hard in training and hopefully, that work can pay off and we make it into the top six in the league, and then take it from there. I want to win the Premier League and show everyone that Clarendon has a lot of talent.”