DUNBEHOLDEN striker Atapharoy Bygrave promised his two daughters Amoya, who is nine years old, and Cattleya, two, that he would win the Golden Boot for them this season.
He virtually delivered on his promise when his brace against Cavalier helped to catapult his team into the final of the Jamaica Premier League for the very first time Wednesday night.
The striker has enjoyed a very good season and made his international debut earlier this year when he was given the nod by interim Head Coach Paul Hall. He now has 13 goals, level with Daniel Green of Mount Pleasant FA but with one more game to play.
This sets up the 28-year-old to claim the coveted goalscoring title outright, should he score in the final on Sunday against Harbour View.
“This Golden Boot is a gift for my two daughters; I told them I am going to do it for them,” he said. “So, in the final I am definitely going to be on top.”
His national call-up coincided with a surprising goalscoring slump locally, but Bygrave said he begged his teammates to keep faith in him during that period.
“I told my teammates not to give up on me [just] because I didn’t score for a few games. I told them, ‘I have this! I know I can do it’ so I just kept working hard and never gave up.”
And Bygrave truly delivered on that promise as he not only scored a brace, one in regulation time and one in extra time, but also scored from the penalty spot in the 4-2 shoot-out win.
He was proud of his team’s performance in a topsy-turvy match during which they led 1-0 on the day, 2-0 on aggregate, and ended up losing the game 3-4 on the night with a final score of 4-4 for the aggregate of the tie.
“I feel good about the performance. We just stuck to the task and followed the coach’s instructions. We didn’t panic, we just kept working and followed the coach’s instructions. He said ‘Don’t panic’ so we just got the job done,” he said.
Bygrave said the win on Wednesday was not just for the players and staff of the club.
“We told the community that we are going to make history and we are going to do it for them, and that’s what happened. It’s history for the community — they are so proud of us.”
Dunbeholden will take on former champions Harbour View in the 6 o’clock final at Sabina Park on Sunday, hoping to go all the way and crown a perfect season by claiming their first Premier League title.