Sports

'I'm Xhane Reid'

Former schoolboy standout notches RSPL goal on debut on return from college

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

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Some might have forgotten the name Xhane Reid, but the outstanding forward reintroduced himself to Jamaica with a stellar display for Vere United in their opening Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) contest.

Reid has always had a knack for scoring spectacular goals, so while many would have been surprised when he expertly buried a well-taken free kick during Sunday's encounter, for him, it was a mere formality.

His 12th-minute strike which assisted the promoted team, formerly Jamalco FC, to a 2-0 win over champions Portmore United, earned him the player of the match honours as they kicked off the 2019/20 campaign in style.

Substitute Zain Hylton got the other on the break in the 75th minute.

“It was a great game and we are happy with the win because we have been preparing hard since summer, and for the guys to come and show what they can really do was something really good.

“It's also really great to be named man of the match because it's my first game in the league and I was looking to do my best, and I have to just thank God for helping me to come back and achieve this for my team,” Reid told the Jamaica Observer.

“I was like, checking the wall to see how I would approach it — if I could go over or just drive it hard — but the way the wall was set I said I'm just going to try to get it over and that's what I did. And luckily, I connected well and then it was off to celebrate,” he added.

During his schoolboy football days Reid was a standout player for Glenmuir and Clarendon College, and was integral in both teams' daCosta Cup triumphs in 2012 and 2014, respectively, as he established himself as the go-to player for goals when needed.

Who could forget when he scored a brace, one of which was an impressive right-footed effort from the middle of the park in Clarendon College's 3-0 beating of St Elizabeth Technical High School in the 2014 final?

His five goals and a number of assists throughout that campaign were rewarded with a scholarship to a Division One school in the United States.

“I did well there [at the Division One school] but I transferred to another school, my junior year, and it wasn't such a good programme so I kind of went low-key from there a little — because I had to like bring that team and the team wasn't that good,” Reid shared.

Still, the talented player, whose skill set and athletic potential should make him one of the young guns to watch this season, pointed out that the experience was a worthwhile one.

“To be honest, the experience overseas was really good because I learned a lot of things and I improved on a lot of things. And I worked on a lot of my weaknesses. So, this experience was great because it was very professional over there.

“I think it also played a role in me getting my first Premier League goal, and that was great because coming back from college after four years, it shows me that I can keep up with the level here so it was actually really good,” the soft-spoken player noted.

With his smooth transition and Premier League debut now out the way, the 23-year-old is hoping to initiate a steady climb up the ranks throughout the season, to culminate with a possible call-up to the Theodore Whitmore-coached Reggae Boyz team.

“Well, my aim is to see if I can help my team to stay up so that we don't get relegated and to see if I can get a national call-up, and just take it from there. But right now, I'm just focused on what I have to do to progress and help my team and my teammates,” Reid ended.

—Sherdon Cowan


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