Dino Williams a revelation for Boyz

BY PAUL A REID Observer writer

Monday, February 27, 2012

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CATHERINE HALL, St James — Young Jamaican striker Dino Williams can become a fixture in the national set up if he can maximise his potential, says national coach Theodore Whitmore.

The Village striker who has scored 10 goals so far in the Red Stripe Premier League, was handed his first start for the senior ReggaeBoyz in their friendly international against Cuba at the Montego Bay Sports Complex on Friday night and he delighted the crowd as he terrorised the Cuban defence all night.

In a comfortable 3-0 win, Williams had many chances to get on the scoresheet, but only the brilliance of the Cuban goalkeeper Odisnel Despaigne denied him a possible debut hat-trick.

In an enterprsing delivery, he repeatedly got behind the Cuban defence and looked at ease playing off strike partner Ryan Johnson and midfielder Jermaine Hue.

The former Green Pond High and Montego Bay United striker earned his place in Whitmore's starting 11after a cameo in Wednesday's first game (Boyz won 1-0) against the Cubans at the National Stadium and the stint in national colours has whetted his appetite for even more playing time.

Whitmore, who has had a firsthand view of Williams' growth and development, said they had seen significant improvement in his attitude at training. "Yes he has a future in national team," the coach said after Friday's game. "I have seen a different Dino Williams in training given what we know about Dino Williams."

The moment was not lost on the 21-year-old Williams, who told the Observer after the game that "this is a big opportunity for me to get a chance in the national team and to stay there".

"It was a great feeling to represent my country in front of my home crowd... (though I was) unlucky to not score about three, but still feel good anyways," he said.

Johnson, the US-based professional who was seen in constant dialogue with Williams in his 45 minutes stint, told the Observer he was trying to calm him down and keep him focused.

"I was telling him to keep his head up and not to worry about the chances he had just missed as the next chance is gonna come," said Johnson. "I just said 'don't worry about it and we are going to give you a next chance'."

Johnson, who scored the opening goal in the 35th minute, added: "Dino did well, I am proud of him and I am proud of the other youngsters that have stepped up in the last few days."

Coach Whitmore said before Williams can cash in on his abilities he must set the bar high. "I was pleased with his performance... (although) for last 20minutes he got winded, but it is for him to get a chance and a taste of what it is like to be playing at the international level," he noted.

Whitmore said he wasn't surprised by what he saw from Williams. "We have seen when Dino came on in the first game and did well and we saw it tonight (Friday) as well what he can do and it is in his hands what he wants to do from here," said Whitmore.

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