'Speedy' Williams keeps eyes on higher goalSaturday, January 27, 2018
ANTALYA, Turkey — Growing up in the tough inner-city community of Southside in Central Kingston, Devon “Speedy” Williams knew he had to get out, and fast.
The former St George's College standout found a way through football, and he has seemingly grasped the opportunity with both hands.
But even though he has escaped the clutches of crime-ravaged Southside, Williams has remained true to his roots by giving back through the very sport that catapulted him out of Jamaica.
He, along with friend Kemar Cummings, has established the Percival “Heightman” Cordwell Foundation in tribute to the late coach who was instrumental in launching the careers of the co-founders and many other young men of the Central Kingston community.
The 25-year-old midfielder, who is a relative newcomer to the senior national set-up, shared that being a part of the Reggae Boyz squad has taken him to another level of a career still to reach its potential.
“Being in the national team does wonders for a player as it helps to raise your profile and would give clubs the chance to look at you more often.
“I have three caps and I am hoping for the fourth one coming up soon… I do feel I have done well enough to continue earning my call-up, but now I am just hoping I can get more opportunities so I can show myself more so I can play a more important role in the national team,” said Williams.
The Louisville City FC man is a part of Jamaica's 20-man squad here for a match against Romanian League One side CS Gaz Metan Medias, in an exhibition at the Antalya Training Centre at 5:00 pm (9:00 am Jamaica time) today.
And on Tuesday, the Jamaicans end their week-long tour of Turkey with an international friendly against World Cup-bound South Korea at Mardan Stadium at 2:00 pm (6:00 am Jamaica time).
It is expected that many scouts from various European clubs will be on hand to observe the Jamaicans, and Williams thinks the situation is ripe with possibilities for other young members of the team here.
“When you have coaches watching it is always a good thing; it would just be on us now to go out there and do what we have to do, and I am sure that some of us will get contracts,” he noted.
Williams, who played a key role in leading Louisville City to the United Soccer League title last season, remains famished for greater things.
“I am always trying to get more, always fighting for more... each season I am always trying to elevate, trying to get better.
“There have been some interests, mostly from US clubs, but for now it's more talk and not much action. In the meantime, I will just continue what I have been doing and waiting on them,” said the former New York Red Bulls II player.
Williams, who left Jamaica for Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he successfully pursued a degree, said he is looking forward to Jamaica's games in this seaside town.
For the South Korea match-up, Williams believes both parties stand to benefit.
“They (South Korea) are going to the World Cup and they are using us as practice and we are also using them as practice as we are in a development stage, as well. Hopefully, I will have a chance to play and get to show what got me here in the first place,” noted Williams.
He said he was delighted that coach Theodore “Tappa” Whitmore has summoned so many young local-based players, who will be given a chance to show off what they have in today's sidebar fixture.
“This is something that I have always thought about which is to get young players and put them together and trying to build for the future, but a one call is not going to help, we have to keep calling players and keep a core group together,” Williams told the Jamaica Observer.
Looking back, Williams thanked his alma mater St George's College for laying the foundation for the player and man he is today.
Williams was a member of St George's College winning Manning Cup seasons of 2008 and 2009.
— Sean Williams