Daniel Green beams after goal on Boyz debut

Monday, August 20, 2018

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados — Daniel “Neymar” Green could not have asked for a better senior international debut.

The 21-year-old Harbour View striker, who is headed for Mount Pleasant Academy on loan, came from virtual obscurity to an international goalscorer within three weeks.

He opened the scoring for Jamaica inside 12 minutes when he latched onto a sweetly-timed through ball from Fabian Reid to calmly slot past the Grenada goalkeeper Jason Belfon. It was a finish befitting a seasoned professional.

“I feel proud about my performance last night (Friday night) because I had put in a lot of work in training to reach this point and it is what is bringing me forward towards my dream,” the slight-framed player told the Jamaica Observer.

“It felt really good to score on my debut,” he reiterated.

“I got a lot of people very proud of me and I'm going to continue doing my best because it is only my best alone that they will appreciate. I am grateful for this opportunity and I will grab it with both hands and push forward,” said the player who was drafted into the local-based pool three weeks ago.

Many would have been left surprised when he was listed in Jamaica's starting 11 against Grenada on Friday night. But for Head Coach Theodore Whitmore, there was indeed some mettle to the madness.

“For me I think it was a pretty decent performance from Daniel Green. I have noticed him for the past couple of weeks working with him. He's very composed in front of goal, he knows how to finish and his showed just that this evening...”

And like his calm disposition on the field, Green, in an almost nonchalant manner said he felt at ease immediately upon joining the national senior team training camp.

“I feel comfortable around the players because they show me love and appreciate my play and most of the players I play against during the premier league, so that was a big plus for me to get along with them more easily, said the man who found the net three times for Harbour View last term in the Red Stripe Premier League, before a minor injury curtailed his progress.

“My strength is my speed and taking on defenders one-on-one and finding the net,” noted Green, who idolises the world's most expensive player, PSG and Brazil's Neymar.

He also said he prefers to play in the centre than on the flanks because he knows how to beat the offside trap - though Friday night's display may seriously challenge that theory — and his speed in the centre of the field makes it harder for defenders. Against Grenada he was called for offside on four occasions.

He ended by showering praise on the technical staff, who, he claims, encouraged rather than rebuked, when players get it wrong in training.

“The coaching staff I really love them because they motivate me well and in training when I miss easy chances, but they take me back up, they didn't cuss or anything like that, they build the players and get them motivated to come again,” he said.

— Ian Burnett

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