Powell on a roll
Former Cornwall College student sets sights on making professional football debut in EnglandThursday, October 21, 2021
BY PAUL A REID
MONTEGO BAY, St James - FORMER Cornwall College midfielder Kamali Powell believes he is on the fast track to making his professional football debut this season, just months after joining the academy at English League Two club, Sutton United.
Powell, who will turn 18 in March 2022, played his only season at the daCosta Cup level in 2019 at age 15, but concedes he has a lot of things to learn in the English football system after being there for just two months.
Things have been moving fast for the player who caught the eyes of the coaches at a club that he was training with in Florida. He was later offered a one-day trial at the South London-based Sutton, where he impressed.
“Sutton United offered me a one-day trial and it was successful,” said Powell a native of Lethe, St James, adding that “Coach Brown from Inter Florida and [agent] Aundrais Leatham made it possible for me to be in Sutton.”
At Inter Florida, Powell said, he played alongside Romeo Beckham, son of former England and Manchester United star, David, for about a month.
One of the biggest adjustments that he had to make, Powell told the Jamaica Observer West, was regarding the pace of the game in England.
“I'd say you need to have fitness — being able to run a lot is important to get into the Sutton United team. The main difference is the fitness and also how fast the ball shifts from one side of the pitch to the other,” he said.
A typical day at the academy, he noted, is mixed with “studying and taking training seriously when we have sessions, as well joking with the lads during the day”.
After coming off the bench in his first game, Powell had started in the next three. He said he is working hard to continue to be part of the team and to catch the eyes of the first-team coaches.
He told the Observer West that “it is hard in terms of training” but reiterated that, “These English clubs mainly focus on fitness and running, so me coming to England, I had to adapt to the training and start to eat properly to perform well in training and on match days.”
Powell, who has UK citizenship, said he is hoping to get into the first team soon.
“If God wills it, it will be soon, I am working towards making my professional debut in the coming year,” he stated.
Away from the football field and the academy, Powell said settling into life in London was a big adjustment for him.
“Life in London for me is good in all aspects; much colder than Montego Bay but, other from the weather, life is good,” adding that when he flew to Sutton it was his first time in London.
Powell had made a name for himself locally, at least in western Jamaica. He played on two winning Rural Area Under-14 football teams and a team that won the all-island trophy while at Cornwall College.
He also played for clubs MoBay City FC and Heights FC in the St James Football Association Major League.