'Hec' of a guy

Reggae Boy Michael Hector keeps faith that Premier League dream will come true

Sunday, June 09, 2019

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WASHINGTON, DC, USA — Michael “Hec” Hector is a bloke with remarkable faith.

The Reggae Boyz defender/midfielder, who signed with marquee English club Chelsea four years ago, is yet to play a competitive game for the London giants.

Amazingly, Hector, 26, clings to his boyhood dream of representing 'The Blues', despite the snub. Intriguingly, Chelsea clings to him as well.

Neither has been able to let go even as the relationship has not self-actualised one way or the other.

Hector, who stands at an imposing 6ft 4in, has been loaned to three lower division British clubs — Reading, Hull City, Sheffield Wednesday — and German Bundesliga outfit Eintracht Frankfurt.

For English Championship club Wednesday this past season, Hector has made some 37 appearances and with two goals to his name, which earned him a special club accolade.

“The season went well for me and I won Player of the Year at the club, so I played well this season… we didn't start the season very well, but we ended strongly and almost got to the play-offs to the Premier League.

“I think this was one of my best seasons consistently performing well, and hopefully I can bring that to the Gold Cup for Jamaica,” he told the Jamaica Observer here, where he was part of the Boyz team that defeated the USA 1-0 in a friendly on Wednesday night.

But even though London-born Hector has experienced top flight football with Eintracht Frankfurt in 2016-2017 and Scottish Premiership side Aberdeen in 2013-2014, his lifelong dream is to play in the English Premier League and Chelsea in particular.

“To break into Chelsea is not easy, it was the club I supported as a kid and it was my dream to play there, and it still is… sometimes as a player you just need that opportunity, but sometimes it does not come, but for me, it's my dream to play in the Premier League and I will never give up,” he said.

Hector, who launched his senior club career at Reading FC in 2009, says he's confident that the realisation of his dream could be around the proverbial corner.

“I think I am coming closer to that dream of playing in the Premier League, either with Chelsea or someone else, I have to just wait and see, and that will start when I will look at my options and see where I am going to play next season,” Hector shared.

He said while it has been a frustrating time as a Chelsea player, who is yet to make his debut, Hector believes the club has maintained an interest in him because it sees his value.

“It's football and it's a business and they (Chelsea) have spent money on me to bring me into the club, it's clear that they value me, but sometimes it's the constant changing of the managers, and that will make it hard to break in as they will always be bringing in new players.

“So just when you think you have a chance, they bring in another manager or a player, so it's hard. They are a top-class club and with the funds they have they can bring in whoever they want and I understood that when I signed… it is a privilege to be at a club like Chelsea, but football can be frustrating.

“I want to say that my time at Chelsea is not what I expected, and it is not what I signed for… but I have played a lot of games on loan, so I am grateful for that,” noted Hector, using clearly thought out rhetoric to veil his let-down by the club.

Hector, who debuted for Jamaica in 2015 with some 25 caps, says he has high expectations as Jamaica commence their Concacaf Gold Cup quest against Honduras at the National Stadium on June 17.

“For me we have to put a good period together before our first game… we have a good camp before that where we can build chemistry and team spirit, plus to work on formations and stuff like that.

Hector, who was a member of the Reggae Boyz teams that lost in the 2015 and 2017 Gold Cup finals, says he is back to lift the trophy.

“For me personally, I have come here to win (the Gold Cup) and the other players in the dressing room want to do that as well, but it is important to take it game by game and don't get carried away… we played well to get to those two finals, nothing was given to us, and I think the respect for us in Concacaf has gone up and there will be no easy games for us anymore,” he argued.

Hector thinks that it's vital for a good performance at the National Stadium, to set the tone for the remainder of the campaign.

“It's amazing to be the first country in the Caribbean to host a Concacaf game, and that will be a special moment for us and the country, and hopefully the fans will come out.

“It's just for us to put on a good performance and get the three points to kick-start the tournament. Yes, there is always pressure, and I put pressure on myself to perform well, so we need to just put in a performance that the nation can be proud of,” Hector said.

— Sean Williams

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