New Boyz Thomas, Bradford revel in recent experience
No team registered victories in Monday’s games in the Wray & Nephew Premier League (WNJPL), but two new additions to the Reggae Boyz squad spoke about their personal wins in the recent international friendly against Guatemala.
Cavalier’s Shaniel Thomas and Harbour View’s Shaqueil Bradford were both on display at Sabina Park after returning from New Jersey where they both featured for the national senior men’s team for the first time.
Thomas, who has impressed within the last three months through his performances in the Concacaf Caribbean Cup for his club, played just over seven minutes for the Heimir Hallgrimsson-coached team.
Though he was unable to get more playing time in the 0-0 draw, the 22-year-old wasn’t complaining.
“I was satisfied to be there; it was an experience. It was my first time so you’re going to expect that. You’re not always going to start wherever you go. I was very happy with the call-up. It’s an experience, it’s my first time being a part of it and to get a feel of how the players gel with each other, I’m happy with it,” Thomas told the Jamaica Observer.
Bradford, also 22, found minutes short in the Guatemala fixture as he came on in the final minute of the match but is eyeing more opportunities with the Boyz in the near future.
“I’m pretty grateful for the opportunity to play for Jamaica… the atmosphere was very similar to CFU (Club Championshionships) and I’ve been there before [so] my goal for this season [is] to get [another] national call-up and to get a contract overseas,” he said.
Thomas didn’t get on the scoresheet in Cavalier’s 1-1 draw against Waterhouse, but after scoring eight goals in the Caribbean Cup, he believes he can make a real impact this season.
“I give the staff a lot of credit; the position I’m playing in right now is a secretive one, but it’s actually working. I’m scoring a lot of goals from that position and I’m happy they saw I could be a superstar from there. I want to be as dominant as possible in every match possible, be a standout, produce hard work so I can get a contract,” said Thomas.
Bradford found the back of the net for Harbour View, but his opening goal was eventually cancelled out in their 2-2 draw with Humble Lions.
The ‘Stars of the East’ are winless in their opening three fixtures in the Jamaican top flight, but Bradford is calling for patience.
“We have a lot of young players and we fall short on a lot of things because there’s more to learn and we have much to improve on, so it’s going to be rough but we’re getting there and it’s just the start of the season,” he said.
Both Thomas and Bradford are expected to be in action today at 3:00 pm as Cavalier host Tivoli Gardens FC at Sabina Park, while Harbour View visit Vere United at the Wembley Centre of Excellence.