Sports

Brandon Curate becomes Cornwall's unlikely hitman

PAUL A REID
Observer writer

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

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CATHERINE HALL, St James — After sitting and watching for two years, converted forward Brandon Curate has grabbed his opportunity with both hands, helping to guide Cornwall College to the semi-finals of both the ISSA/WATA daCosta Cup and Champions Cup competitions.

The burly Curate, who at times appears ungainly, has scored 10 goals for Cornwall College, including the last five in regular and time added. His goals have come in two competitions and have included some spectacular free kicks from his favoured left boot.

Curate, who moved from Herbert Morrison Technical to attend sixth form at Cornwall, started the season at wing back and announced himself in the opening game with a sumptuous free kick to bring his team level at 1-1 in their Zone A game against Irwin High. They went on to win 2-1 at Montego Bay Sports Complex.

Just over a week ago he was on target again with another spectacular free kick, deep into stoppage time to beat Charlie Smith High in the first round of the ISSA Champions Cup.

Last weekend he scored yet another late goal. Keeping his calm and poise under tremendous pressure, he scored a penalty deep in time added to bring Cornwall College level against St George's College, and then scored the first kick in the penalty shoot-out as they won 3-2.

“It means a lot that I have done this well. I have been sitting down for two years and waiting for my chance, and this is my time and I am just doing my best to help the team,” Curate, who had previously played as a defender all of his football career, told the Jamaica Observer after the win over St George's.

He scored a hat-trick in Cornwall College's 3-0 win over Maggotty High in their final daCosta Cup quarter-final game as they dramatically rebounded from a loss to Manchester High to top their zone on goal difference over Garvey Maceo to qualify for the semis.

“Its a great feeling knowing that I can come in and help the team in such a huge way and I want to give thanks to Coach Dean Weatherly and those who were involved and who believed in me and trusted the process and had all the patience with me,” said Curate, who battled injuries in his first two seasons.

He admitted that playing this far into the season for the first time has taken its toll.

“Physically, I am drained but the work we did in the summer is paying off big and keeps me going, plus the work we do in training every day, so I am not really phased knowing this is my first time playing so long into the season.”

Learning to play centre forward has not been easy, the former defender said. “Daily I get tips from Coach Weatherly and [Assistant Coach] Warren Barrett and I have been learning every day how to play forward after being a defender all my playing career.”

One thing he does well is to kick the dead ball with pinpoint accuracy. This gift, he said, he got from his step-father, the former national player Hector Wright, who is one of Jamaica's finest ever dead-ball specialists.

“Hector Wright has played a big role with the free kicks, day in and day out he has shown me many different techniques. There are days when we are the only ones on the field practising free kicks, and I am sure he is proud watching me execute what he has taught me,” Curate said.


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