'Messi' stars at Stadium East
Nodley Wright, Gleaner Writer
Dubbed 'Messi' by his many fans, Chevone Marsh brought his own brand of magic to light up a sometimes dull affair and lift Cavalier to the top of the Red Stripe Premier League table as they defeated the defending Champions Montego Bay United 1-0 on Sunday.
The Jamaican Messi did not hit the back of the net himself, but cut open the Montego Bay United defence with a perfect pass, which Girvon Brown, who was on a hat-trick of misses, could only convert. For the coaching staff, introducing Marsh was the last throw of the die as it appeared victory would elude them as they created and missed chances at will.
"I told the coach that if he needed me, then he could take me off the bench," a relaxed Marsh told The Gleaner as he explained his second-half introduction.
The 20-year-old creative midfielder, normally a starter, was weakened by the chikungunya virus currently afflicting the country.
"I was in the under-23 camp and I got the sickness so I was not 100 per cent coming into the game, but I had to do my best for the team.
"This is my third season playing in the Premier League, so I am a senior player in the team now. I can handle the responsibility," said the player who stands no taller than 5' 7".
The former Calabar Manning Cup player said that Sunday's display was only a taste of what is to come as the national team is his objective.
"Right now I have set myself the target of scoring 15 goals and being the top assists man in the league as my aim right now is to get a call in the senior team. I had my eyes on Japan, but it may be a little bit late for that now, but the Caribbean Cup later in the year is what I am looking at now," he said.
After being overlooked for the country's under-17 team, he was involved in the early stages of the country's under-20 qualifiers but injury ruled him out for the CONCACAF round. That situation, he said, has ignited the fire in him to work even harder to become a Reggae Boy.
"I was a part of the last under-20 team but I did not make the final squad that went to Mexico in the CONCACAF play-offs because I had a fractured toe. That was really disappointing for me.
"I really wanted to be there helping my team to qualify, but I could not be there. I said to myself then that it wasn't the end of the road and that I would work hard to get into the senior team, which is my main focus now," reiterated the player who had a trial stint with Belgium's Standard Liege.