Little-known Bowers makes big difference for Sporting Central
Nodley Wright, Gleaner Writer
A relative unknown, Romaine Bowers, was the difference between a win for leaders Waterhouse and Sporting Central Academy when both teams played to a 0-0 draw in the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) football match at Waterhouse Stadium on Monday night.
Seeking his day in the sun, the 24-year-old Sporting Central goalkeeper could not have chosen a better opportunity than the televised game watched by the national coach, Winfried Schäfer, to serve notice of his abilities. The six-footer pulled off a number of important saves, especially in the second half, when the rejuvenated favourites, Waterhouse - under the urging of the increasingly influential Tramaine Stewart - threatened to overrun them.
The much-maligned Juvaune Benjamin and former national representative Jermain "Tuffy" Anderson suffered most from Bowers' quick reflexes, anticipation and reading of the game.
"I am here trying to make a name for myself, trying to get a call-up and trying to play top-flight football," said the former St Thomas Technical representative, who had a taste of the Premier League with St Georges Sports Club before moving to Sporting Central, having started his club career at Delta Force.
The name and recognition that Bowers craves will come if he continues doing what he says he has been doing.
"I have been putting in the hard work in training, and that is what it is. That is why I have been put in goal," he remarked.
"I feel wonderful because that is my job, to keep them from scoring."
Bowers continued: "Waterhouse went down to 10 men in the first half and I think we should have capitalised on that.
"We did not get a goal, but we did create a lot of chances that we should have capitalised on. But a 0-0 draw away from home is wonderful still, so we give thanks for the one point," the Golden Grove native said.
MORE TO COME
Success, though not the type that he would have liked, is not strange to Bowers and he intends to get more.
"I played four seasons for St Thomas Technical in the daCosta Cup and reached the inter-zone with them. I played for them from 2004 to 2008 and I actually got called up to the Under-21 team in 2008, but things did not work out the way that I wanted," he revealed.
"It did not work out. Among the goalkeepers were Andre Blake, who is doing well with the national team now, and Romario Campbell, who played tonight and is part of the Jamaica camp.
"I am inspired by what they have done to reach their goal," the self-described 'simple fellow' said, indicating that he will continue to take aim at the "national team and get an overseas contract".