Romeo Parkes looking to take next step up football ladder
PARAMARIBO, Suriname — National Under-23 midfielder Romeo Parkes expressed overwhelming joy after registering his first competitive goal in Jamaican colours during last Wednesday's 2-0 win over St Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean Football Union Olympic qualifying match at the Andre Kamperveen Stadium here in Paramaribo.
After enduring a difficult first half, which saw the St Vincent outfit out-hustling the highly fancied Jamaicans, Parkes popped up to thunder home a right-footed half-volley from 20 yards out, just six minutes into the second period to lift his team.
Speaking to the Observer at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel, where the team was being housed, Parkes said that after seeing the ball crash into the roof of the net, he was hit by uncontrollable emotion.
"When I took (control of) the ball on my chest and I looked up and saw the goal the first thing I thought was to shoot. I made clean contact and it flew in. I was so happy... I was tearful after scoring it. I'm proud to be a player on this team and scoring my first international goal made me so happy," he said.
A resident of Port Maria in St Mary, the 20-year-old player is one of the younger members of the 18-man squad, but he has already made a name for himself at the Portland-based St George's Football Club.
The club was one of two which were relegated last season from the Premier League competition, but Parkes has been seeking to tie up negotiations with newly promoted Highgate United of St Mary to remain playing in the top division.
While revealing that there has also been interest shown from clubs in Europe, Parkes said that his ultimate goal is to work his way into the senior set-up.
"It is good to be in the most competitive league so I'm sorting out a move to St Mary... and Europe is also a possibility. I still see myself trying to reach to the senior team because that is a major goal of any player. I have always had the hunger to take a next step," said Parkes, who played two seasons of the daCosta Cup schoolboy competition at Oracabessa High.