'Tuffy' says faith and hardwork paid off
After being overlooked from the national set up for five years, Jermaine 'Tuffy' Anderson never believed that the door was shut for him to play International football for Jamaica.
Anderson, 33, was last invited to the Reggae Boyz squad under Jamaican-born English coach John Barnes in 2007 and never got a look-in since.
However, his luck would change as he was recently recalled by head coach Theodore 'Tappa' Whitmore in a 24-man training squad for the Caribbean Cup set for December 7-16 in Antigua and Barbuda.
"I didn't feel it was shut on me because of the focus that I kept and the hard work, I never tell myself that. Some people said they don't think I could make it back, but once you hold your head high and do the right things it will happen," Anderson told the Jamaica Observer.
Anderson who will be 34 on February 22, 2013, is among 10 local based players invited to the camp which starts today until the team departs for the Caribbean Football Union's 16th staging of the tournament.
Anderson of Waterhouse FC, along with the talented 21-year-old Lamar Nelson and Rohan Reid of Arnett Gardens, Xavian Virgo (Boys' Town), the Portmore United trio of Andre Lewis, Alvas Powell and Ewan Grandison; Harbour View's duo of Jermaine Hue and Joel Senior plus goalkeeper Jacomena Barrett of Montego Bay United comprise the home-based talent in the squad.
"It's all about showing the coaches that I want to be there and score some goals for the country and play a team football. Just do whatever they tell you to do," said the grateful Anderson.
The strong and prolific striker, who won the Golden Boot award last a season with 14 goals, is currently second on the list with six goals after 13 games.
The former Seba (now Montego Bay United) and Wadadah striker just wants to keep his foot on the ground with this second chance in life at representing his beloved country.
"I always say it's a good feeling to represent the country, but it's all about hard work and it is a long time I have been working hard and it has paid off," he pointed out.
"But it (does) not really stop right here, I would really like to reach further. It's a wonderful feeling for me and I appreciate it and I have to say thanks to the coaching staff and the fans," Anderson reiterated.
"Last season some people was bawling out and I felt a little bit upset seeing that I wasn't in there, but the main thing is that I didn't give up and I just held my cool and continued scoring some goals and hope that one day the door will open," said Anderson.