MAN ON FIRE!
Nicholson looks to Concacaf Nations League after superb pro season — agent
NICHOLSON...has been on a hot streak in Europe this season, scoring over 20 goals

Jamaica’s striker Shamar “Bowza” Nicholson is eyeing a return to action with the senior Reggae Boyz for next month’s Concacaf Nation League assignments, even as he prepares for the Russian Cup final with his club Spartak Moscow, according to his agent Kevin Cowan.

Nicholson, 25, has been on a hot streak in Europe this season, scoring over 20 goals combined from stints with former club Charleroi in Belgium and the Spartak outfit, which he joined midseason.

The towering player, blessed with strength, composure, and an eye for goal, scored three times in Spartak Moscow’s 6-1 win in the round-of-16 Russian Cup match against FC Kuban.

Though not getting on the score sheet, the Reggae Boyz attacker was integral in Spartak’s 1-0 victory over CSKA Moscow in the quarter-finals and the 3-0 triumph over Yenisey Krasnoyarsk in the semis.

Jamaica’s Shamar Nicholson (right) gets away from Honduras’ Henry Figuero during a Concacaf Gold Cup match at the National Stadium in Kingston in June 2019. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)

The Russian Cup championship match is against city rivals Dynamo Moscow, scheduled for May 29 inside the Luzhniki Stadium.

With one round of matches left in the Russian Premier League, Spartak, traditionally one of the top teams in the country, are 10th in the standings with 38 points. Dynamo (53 points) are second behind runaway league winners Zenit St Petersburg (65 points).

“He feels proud that he has helped his team to reach the Cup final, and he’s looking forward to helping his team to win it. He is excited, but he knows it’s not going to be easy,” Cowan told the Jamaica Observer on Thursday.

“Spartak are having a below-par season based on their historical standards, so by finishing the season with the Russian Cup win over local rivals in Dynamo Moscow, that would be huge for the club,” he continued.

Nicholson, a former national Under-20 standout, missed World Cup qualifying matches toward the back-end of the Jamaica senior team’s failed Qatar 2022 bid after he formalised the move from Belgium to the Russian capital early this year.

But Cowan said Nicholson, who scored for the Boyz at the start of the final-round qualifiers away to Concacaf top teams Mexico and Costa Rica last September, is eager to get back into the fold.

Jamaica’s Reggae Boy Shamar Nicholson.

“Shamar is looking forward to the Nations League, he knows the significance of the country performing well because the Nations League is a vehicle to get to the Concacaf Gold Cup.

“He has had a very long season, but as always, he is looking forward to putting on the black, green, and gold of Jamaica, and he’s ready to compete and do his best this summer,” said the player’s agent.

The Reggae Boyz, who reached back-to-back Gold Cup finals in 2015 and 2017, are in the top tier of the 2022-23 edition of the Nations League. They are drawn in Group A alongside Mexico and Suriname.

The Jamaicans are scheduled to open their account away to Suriname on June 4 before the return fixture against the same opponents in Kingston on June 7. They are set to close out this year’s Nations League fixtures with a home clash against the Mexicans on June 14 before the return leg in Mexico next March.

The Reggae Boyz are slated to play an unofficial friendly against a Catalonia team in Giron, Spain, next week in an encounter that should give interim Head Coach Paul Hall a look at a number of uncapped British-based players.

Nicholson and a host of other prominent Reggae Boyz are not included in that squad.

Sanjay Myers

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