Reggae Boy Atkinson over ‘cold feet’ in Iceland
THROUGHOUT his relatively young playing career Reggae Boy Dwayne “Busy” Atkinson has brought the heat in local football, being one of the highly respected prospects in the country. However, the attacking prodigy struggled to make a mark during his six-month stint in cold Iceland.
The 21-year-old left Cavalier in April during the midst of the Jamaica Premier League play-offs, signing for Iceland’s first- division club IBV which is the former club of Reggae Boyz Head Coach Heimir Hallgrimsson.
However, it was far from smooth sailing as Atkinson made just 10 appearances, six of which were off the bench. He only registered one goal and an assist, and saw the former champions relegated for the third time in the club’s history.
Though he’s had experience playing overseas, including in Sweden and the USA, Atkinson says the conditions in Iceland were unbearable.
“It was a difficult time for me in Iceland because it was Iceland,” he said. “The time was very cold so I had to just bear it and keep fighting. The time was cold, mi born and grow in Jamaica [so I was] never used to so much cold; my toes [were] bursting and those stuff. [I] couldn’t manage but as it is, you’re a pro. But, I have to just keep fighting for myself and do what I got to do because, at the end of the day, it’s my opportunity.”
Online weather websites said the temperature in Iceland in 2023 dropped to as low as -14 degrees Celsius, with the highest recorded being 19.5 degrees Celsius.
The former Kingston College standout returned to Jamaica and made his first appearance for Cavalier on Sunday in the Wray & Nephew Jamaica Premier League during which he bagged a goal and an assist in the team’s 3-0 win over Arnett Gardens at Sabina Park.
However Atkinson, who has three caps for the Reggae Boyz, doesn’t intend to stay on the island for the long term.
“My objective, looking forward, is try getting back out of the country as soon as possible,” he said. “[Football], it’s not just right here [in Jamaica]; you just have to be mentally strong and try to go somewhere farther than Jamaica. It’s a learning process because it’s a step at a time so you just got to do what you got to do.”
When asked if any transfers are being lined up for him, Atkinson kept his cards close to his chest.
“Time will tell. We’ll see.”
Until that new chance arrives he believes his Iceland experience has prepared him for future opportunities.
“Overseas is difficult compared to Jamaica. You have to train hard, keep focused, can’t switch off at any moment because the moment you switch off, it hurts you,” he said. “But, as I say, it was a learning process over there. Coming back to Jamaica I just have to show my teammates what to do and keep them focused.”
Atkinson is expected to return to action on Wednesday when Cavalier take on Humble Lions at Stadium East.