Surprise for Whisper
Hallgrimsson calls schoolboys as part of first local training camp
KINGSTON COLLEGE forward Dujuan ‘Whisper’ Richards has expressed surprise and delight at his first-ever senior Reggae Boyz call-up, and has promised to make his supporters proud.
“It is a great feeling to be in a senior national team training,” Richards commented about Heimir Hallgrimsson’s first local-based training squad which was announced yesterday.
“Alex Ferguson [former Manchester United manager] once said that if you are good enough, you are old enough. So I am just hoping I am good enough,” said Richards.
Richards, who netted more than 30 goals in schoolboy football, while providing 19 assists was the toast of the high school season but admitted he was not expecting this.
“It was a surprise. I am just going there to do my best and try to show the quality,” he said.
“This is the first of many. I just want to tell my fans [to] keep supporting me. I will make you proud.”
Richards is also a product of the Phoenix Football Academy and Phoenix boss, Craig Butler, said the 17-year-old deserves the opportunity after the season he had.
“I have said he should and deserves to be there as he has always answered on the field very much like Leon Bailey.
“It is really a step in the right direction and I am really proud of him and his entire family is also very proud.
“At 17 he is 6’3. So he is big, has a lot of power, speed, agility and technique. So he will be an asset to Jamaica and the greatest honour for me would be to see him playing alongside Leon Bailey, representing our country,” he said.
However, Butler hopes it is not just a one-time call-up for the young player.
“We are hoping that this is not just a pacifier, where he gets called up because of the pressure but there is really not a direct plan to include him.
“I am hoping they will look at him for the quality he possesses and not just think that this is an opportunity for a 17-year-old.
“Pele was 17 when he represented Brazil’s national team, [Wayne] Rooney was called up at 16 for his national team, Norman Whiteside played at 16 for Northern Ireland.
“So there have always been great talents that come up at young ages that a country has recognised and they must be groomed in the right and proper way,” he said.
Richards is one of two schoolboys called to the squad with daCosta Cup MVP Malachi Douglas of Clarendon College and JPL outfit Chapelton Maroons also set to show what he has.
Squad for Reggae Boyz Camp
Kemar Foster Waterhouse FCRamone Howell Waterhouse FCRicardo Thomas DunbeholdenPeter McGregor DunbeholdenTrivante Stewar Mount PleasantKy-Mani Campbell Mount PleasantDemario Phillips Mount PleasantDevonte Campbell Mount PleasantJamoi Topey Mount PleasantTafari Chambers Mount PleasantShaquille Dwyer Mount PleasantSue-Lae McCalla Mount PleasantAlwayne Harvey Mount PleasantOdane Murray Mount PleasantEric Edwards Arnett GardensKimani Arbouine Arnett GardensEarl Simpson Arnett GardensAjuma Johnson Arnett GardensRichard King CavalierDwayne Atkinson CavalierCollin Anderson CavalierKyle Ming CavalierJeadine White CavalierGawain Austin Portmore UnitedColorado Murray Habour View Jashaun Anglin Habour ViewNicholas Hamilton Habour ViewOkeemo Jones Chapelton MaroonsMalachi Douglas Chapelton MaroonsDujuan Richards Phoenix AcademyJason Wright Molynes United