Barrett's heroics ensure western showdown for Flow Champions Cup
Nodley Wright, Gleaner Writer
Jacomeno Barrett on Sunday night ensured that there will be an all Western Jamaica final for the Flow Champions Cup knockout on November 16.
The powerfully built goalkeeper blasted home one penalty and saved one to give Montego Bay United passage into the final with a 6-5 victory in a sudden death win over Portmore United.
Both teams missed one of their first five penalties, while Portmore United missed in the sudden death shoot-out.
Reno FC of Westmoreland had earlier advanced to the final with a sudden death penalty shoot-out win over Harbour View.
"I am not the hero, enuh," a beaming Barrett said at the end of the game, downplaying his role in his team's victory.
"We all are (heroes). Every-one contributed towards the game, and my job in the penalty shoot-out was to get us there and I did it," he added, matter-of-factly.
Barrett said that losing was not something that entered his mind. With victory the only thing that he was thinking about, Barrett, who last represented Jamaica in June, said he had to get himself in the frame of mind.
"It was just the mindset. I told myself I had to save it. It didn't matter what I had to do. I just told myself that whatever it took, I had to do it and nothing was going to get in our way."
A big defender of the view that western Jamaica is talent-rich and that the players only need the opportunity, the Hanover-born player was ecstatic about the fact that two teams from western Jamaica would meet in the final.
west is rising
"It is great (an all-Western Jamaica final). The west is rising. It may be slow, but it is definitely rising. I am happy for both Montego Bay and Reno and western Jamaica as there is a lot of talent there," he said.
While he believes things are improving for footballers from that region, there are still not enough players making it to the national set-up, according to Barrett. This is something that he hopes will change soon.
"The fact that there are not many people from western Jamaica in the national set-up is not something we have any control over. My coach does not have any control over that either, so we just have to keep working hard and hope that things go right one day."
Barrett's own international career appears to be in limbo right now, but the 29-year-old says he will deal with that the way he has always dealt with his football problems: Work harder.
"I don't know what is happening. I am currently not a part of the Caribbean Cup squad, but I never stop. I continue to push, to fight. That is just my mentality - never giving up.
"Hard work is the key to getting there and making the necessary sacrifices, which I have been making. Those sacrifices have been showing in my game since the start of the season. I am dieting and losing weight. You have to give up a certain lifestyle to be a professional, and that is what I am doing," explained the player, who said he had shed 26 pounds and counting so far this season.