Young Clarke delights for Harbour View
Nodley Wright, Gleaner Writer
Teenager Rennico Clarke was the youngest player on show on Wednesday night in the rescheduled Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) match between the previously unbeaten Waterhouse and Harbour, but you would not have guessed.
The nineteen-year-old scored the winner to give Harbour View a 2-1 win and end Waterhouse's unbeaten run as he stood head and shoulders literally and figuratively above some of much older players on the field. With the win, Harbour View moved up to third position in the 12-team league with 14 points, three behind leaders Cavalier.
Predictably, the St Thomas native was pleased with his performance and the result of it.
end unbeaten run
"I feel elated with that goal. I have put in hours and hours of training, especially with my heading, so you know that is my strength. I give God thanks for everything. This is my first Premier League goal, but I have scored for Harbour View already in the Flow Cup," said the young central defender who stands at 6'4" tall.
Ending Waterhouse's unbeaten run was also a special achievement for the man who represented Wolmer's last season in the Manning Cup after distinguishing himself in the daCosta Cup for Seaforth High School.
"I am so happy right now, words can't explain how I feel. I just want to give God thanks," added the highly regarded player who was spotted playing for York FC in St Thomas during a pre-season friendly with Harbour View almost two years ago.
In the game against the potent Waterhouse, Clarke displayed all the qualities one would expect from a good central defender. He read the game very well and was unbeaten on the ground or the air. He was also calm and composed, never once allowing himself to be overawed by the presence of the physically powerful and experienced Jermain 'Tuffy' Anderson.
"I must tell you, it is wonderful to be a part of the Premier League. It is intensive, the ball game is very different. Players close you down quickly, so Manning Cup and Premier league are totally different. I would encourage anyone who wants to be a part of this to really step it up because it is not an easy road," he explained.
The national age group coaching staff it appears, has taken note of Clarke's quality and already, he is a part of the national Under-23 set-up.
"I see myself going as far as getting a contract and playing in Europe, but it takes time and I am taking one step at a time. What I will do now is to make the most of this opportunity and hopefully, I will play well enough to catch the right eyes.
"If a scholarship offer comes, then I will gladly take it," he explained adding that he did not do badly in the classroom either.