I want to play for Jamaica, says US-born 11-y-oFriday, July 23, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — At 11 years old, Kamar Smith has dreams of representing Jamaica in football at the highest level. Kamar was born in Florida, USA, and is currently a member of the Parkland Soccer Club's 2010 Boys Red Team.
Even though he is born in Florida, Kamar is the son of a Jamaican father, Omar Smith and Jamaican-American mother Karla Williamson. All four of his grandparents are Jamaicans and the Jamaican culture has been deeply ingrained in him from birth. He has visited Jamaica more than 20 times despite his tender age.
Kamar is regarded as a bright prospect and represents the Parkland Soccer Club under-12 division.
“I want to play for Jamaica. That is the country I would like to play for in the World Cup. It is my dream and I know I can do it,” he said.
Colombian-born coach of the Parkland Soccer Club, Jona Andrade, has high hopes for the young player who he describes as an amazing talent who is driven towards success.
“Kamar overall is an amazing and very special player. As a coach I know when a player is special. Kamar is primarily an attacking minded player with a knack for scoring goals and creating opportunities. I think he has all the tools necessary to take it to the highest level,” Andrade shared.
In the last Elite Clubs National League Regional season for the under 11 age group — which lasted from August last year through to May 2021 — Kamar netted more than 50 times for his team and displayed exemplary leadership skills for his team, Andrade said.
The team won the much sought after Weston Cup and scored eight goals along the way.
“Kamar scored seven out of those eight goals,” Andrade said.
With the growing popularity of football in the US and a burgeoning number of children born to immigrant parents, many parents are clamouring to get their charges in elite clubs with the hope of them becoming future stars. The environment is very competitive and many young ones fall by the wayside even before they become teenagers.
Parents pay sizeable fees for their children to play the game in established clubs.
But according to Andrade, while the talent pool is deep special players don't come a dime a dozen.
“He is in the top one per cent for sure. He has good work ethic and is a good all-round player. He is quick and pretty strong on the ball and when he doesn't have the ball he motivates his team by playing a good defensive role. It's all up to him now,” Andrade said.
Kamar is taller than most 11-year-olds and packs a powerful shot off both feet. His parents ensure that he balances his educational development with his first love, football to keep him grounded and maintain a balance. But that has not managed to dilute his love for the beautiful game.
“I want to play soccer for a living. This is what I want to do,” he said.
His father hails from Duhaney Park in Kingston and the Reggae Boyz hopeful practices with children his age at a football pitch located in that community whenever he visits the island.
“I love Jamaica. It's different from America but I love going there,” he said.
Kamar has been playing football since he was four years old for the City Recreational League in North Lauderdale, Florida.
He recently convinced his parents to take him to Orlando to watch the Reggae Boyz winning 2-1 effort over Guadeloupe in the ongoing CONCACAF Gold Cup competition.
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