Captain Christine Exeter aims high for Senior Reggae Girlz

HOWARD WALKER Reporting from Couva, Trinidad and Tobago

Thursday, November 19, 2015

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SOME people think leaders are born with that can natural social intelligence and charisma that motivate others to work together. Others believe that leaders are made, having honed their skills with practice, experience and mentoring.

That's a debate that will rage for a long time, but one thing is sure: Jamaica's Senior Reggae Girlz have found a leader in Christine Exeter.

With just two games under her belt in August against the Dominican Republic and the Dominica, Exeter has been elevated to captain of Jamaica's team at age 23.

"I pay attention to details, that's my main thing. Then with the girls gravitating towards me I think is because of my caring for every single person on the team regardless if you are on the bench or on the field, everyone is a part of this team and needs full attention," said Exeter.

"Then my will to win. I am passionate about winning and if you have that mentality to win people are going to jump on board to do so," she added.

Born in Ontario, Canada, to a Jamaican mother from Clarendon and a Vincentian father, Exeter was a part of the Canadian youth system until she decided to represent Jamaica.

"I started playing soccer very young when I was six years old. My older brothers played soccer so that's how I got into it. I got involved with the Canadian programme from I was 14 years old and went all the way until I was 20, then I switched over to Jamaica," she revealed.

The powerful centre forward who was an All-American and Conference Player of the Year as a freshman at the University of Louisville, added:

"I went to US to pursue my undergrad degree in Exercise Science at the University of Louisville, Kentucky. I am currently still there pursuing a Master's Degree and will graduate in May 2016 with concentration in Sports Administration. My ultimate goal is to be a coach or dirctor of athletics," said Exeter.

"I had a pretty good career and right after when I was preparing to go professional I tore my knee, and after a year of rehab I am 100 per cent again," she added.

Other than her leadership qualities, Exeter is the typical number nine or centre forward and she identifies her size, ability to hold up the ball with back to goal and finishing prowess as her strengths.

"I am very composed on the ball. I am not the kind of person to shoot from a distance. I like to place the ball and trust my ability to head the ball offensively and defensively," Exeter said.

Exeter will lead Jamaica's hope to the Olympic Games from the front and believes the players from Jamaica, Canada and America have given the team a nice blend.

"I think we are ready and there are a lot of new faces on this team. People from different places, Jamaicans girls, Canadian girls American girls and everyone brought a little piece of their own to this team and right now we are all very caring, we are all friends, there is no clique, everyone knows one another and that's one of the key successes of the team," she explained.

"Our speed of play has got faster and we are fitter as a team overall. Our killer instinct is our speed and we have it. Our downfall was our fitness and we brought it up and it means we can compete with a lot of teams," said Exeter.

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