Jenkins gets timing right against Sporting
Nodley Wright, Gleaner Writer
One of the qualities that one looks for in a defender, particularly a central defender, is timing.
Oshane Jenkins, a member of Jamaica's Under-17 team which qualified for that 2011 age group World Cup, on Sunday showed that he has it as he fired Cavalier to a 1-0 win over Sporting Central Academy in the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL).
Just last week, Alvas Powell, the vice-captain of that Under-17 team, and Omar Holness, the captain, represented Jamaica's senior team in a friendly match against Canada in that country.
Both players did enough to impress local observers, a number of whom enquired about the other members of the group.
Jenkins' timing could not have been better, as his goal against Sporting Central thrust him back into the limelight.
"I think my performance was fair. It was not as good as I expected, but I scored a goal which gave us the win, which is important. So I give myself a seven or an eight for that," said Jenkins.
His strike improved Cavalier's standing to second place - following Sunday's matches - on four points. Cavalier were only bettered by Reno, who scored more goals.
Jenkins' goal came in the 30th minute as Allien Whittaker, Jamaica's 1999 Under-17 goalkeeper, could not hold on to a powerful shot from Chevonne Marsh, and Jenkins blasted the rebound home. It was another example of perfect timing.
"I am playing right midfield now. This is my natural position, but I played central at St George's because the two central defenders were injured and the team needed me and I also played in the back for the Under-17 team," Jenkins said, explaining why he was so far forward.
Sunday's goal, Jenkins said, could not have come at a better time, as it sets him up perfectly to achieve his other goals.
"I have set myself a goal for the Premier League and that is to score 10 goals from this position and get a look in with the national team, and this is the first of them."
He added: "There is also the Under-23 squad. We had a brief camp recently and there is supposed to be another in preparation for the Pan American Games, which takes place in Mexico in November. I am really looking forward to being a part of that.
"The Under-17 was a transition to the Under-20s and from there I have progressed to the Under-23s, and the Under-23s will be a stepping stone to the senior team."
Outside of the national programme, Jenkins has not given up on his education.
"I am still planning on getting a scholarship to study abroad and this is still open to me as I am not a professional. If I do not get the scholarship to go abroad, then there is UTech and I could apply next year to study business as I have the subjects required," said the former St George's College player. At the moment, time is on his side. His choice could come like his game-winning goal on Sunday - when the moment is right.