Sports

Arnett Gardens' talisman Harris looks to greener pastures

BY DWAYNE RICHARDS
Observer writer

Monday, December 25, 2017

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For the last two or three seasons of the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL), the name Vishinul Harris has been on the lips of many, even on those of national selectors.

The attacking midfielder has been impressive for his club Arnett Gardens FC and has caught the eye of former head coach Winfried Schafer as well as current head coach Theodore Whitmore.

But while he has been impressive on the field, Harris has had to be battling injuries in recent times as well. The last injury saw him miss a huge chunk of the RSPL last season, returning just in time to help Arnett snatch their second title in three seasons.

A return to full fitness has coincided with a record unbeaten start to the the current season by Arnett Gardens, who have now gone 17 games unbeaten. This has come largely on the back of Harris and his irrepressible teammate Fabian Reid, both of whom have been bagging goals for the “Junglists”.

Harris has hailed the understanding between himself and Reid that resulted in his goal against Waterhouse in mid-week which brought the former's tally to three.

“It is just pure off the ball movement, myself and Fabian Reid have an understanding. Most of the time the coach wants me to get near him because we have a good chemistry and you can see it on the field,” he suggested.

A lot has been said about the run that Arnett Gardens has been on and it forms a part of the overall plans of the club for the 2017-2018 season. When pressed on the details of that plan, the former Charlie Smith Manning Cup star would not divulge the information.

“It's not just about the club, it's also about the community. They have been there for us from the start of the season and we just want to continue. The record is not something that we concentrate on, but we set an aim at the start of the season and it is looking good so far,” Harris told the Jamaica Observer.

For the Jerome Waite-coached team to maintain their unbeaten run against Waterhouse they had to play most of the game with 10 players, and as Harris explained, it was due to total commitment.

“It was really a tough game; Waterhouse were coming off a win and we were coming off a draw. We got back-to-back draws now, but we still have time and Portmore is not far from us, it's just two points.

“It was full commitment (and) the coach had a personal talk with us in the half-time break and we as players came together and said we are going to win it, but unfortunately, we got the draw and as you could see it was as if we had the 11 players out there and we created a lot of chances,” he continued.

Like most players of his quality and skill, Harris has two major targets set for the season.

“I set a target of 15 goals this season, no matter how it comes, across all competitions, but I want to get to double figures,” he shared.

With the uncanny ability to find the goals for his team, especially late in the half of games, few will doubt that the first objective is achievable, but it is the second objective that will require a bit more work for the 24-year-old.

“I am not eyeing only the national set-up, I want to play some ball overseas. I am working hard and I have had discussions with my agent and family members and things are looking good so far, so I am just waiting for the chance, whether it's the US or Europe,” Harris informed.

With sixteen regular season games plus the likely play-offs, Harris will need to average just under a goal a game to hit his goal targets. This should be a big boost to his team as they continue the quest to repeat as Premier League champions.

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