Alicia 'One Left' James happy for third MVP in Sherwin Williams Women's football league
Alecia 'One Left' James says winning the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award in the Sherwin Williams Women's Premier League for the third time has left her with a special feeling.
James was presented with the accolade at the end-of-season awards ceremony at the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) office in New Kingston this past week. She walked away with the trophy and a $25,000 cash incentive.
"I am happy to win it this time around," James told The Sunday Gleaner. "It shows my contribution to the team's success in the 2013-14 season."
She continued: "After a knee surgery in the 2012-13 season, where I played in only six games, this one is more special than the other two MVP awards I won."
James, in her role as captain and part-time coach, guided Barbican to their seventh consecutive national women's title and 10th overall. The club also won the Sherwin Williams mid-season trophy and Sherwin Williams Colourscape for a clean sweep.
The 31-year-old is already looking forward to another successful season in 2014-15.
"I'm still motivated and looking forward to next season," she said.
For James, competitive football started some 20 years ago when she represented Dunrobin in the Primary Schools' competition. She played mostly among boys at that level.
She first represented Olympic Gardens in the Women's League at age 11, then Rivoli United for one season. James has been at Barbican for 10 years, in which the club has won 17 titles.
James moved on to Meadowbrook High via the common entrance route. She represented that institution for two years in the schoolgirl competition.
After eight CXC passes, she transferred to St Jago and helped the Monk Road-based school to win the title in 2001.
James then gained a scholarship to Bethel University in Tennessee, United States, in 2002. She studied and represented Bethel in the Women's Soccer League and progressed to the Nationals for three years.
James graduated from Bethel with a 3.7 GPA, Academic All-America honour role and a degree in accounting.
"We did not win any titles, but moved to third in the ranking. In my final year, I had an injury," she informed.
James started in football at the centre-forward position, but also played in midfield and defence.
"I played in all outfield positions, but in the latter part of my career, coach (Charles Edwards) decided to put me in the holding midfield, and I've grown to love that role," she disclosed.
James represented Jamaica at the junior and senior levels and last played in the nation's colours in 2008. She has played under coaches like Edwards, the late Peter 'Jair' Cargill, Carl Brown, and Vinimore 'Vin' Blaine.
The veteran player is thinking of pursuing coaching and is already working with kids. She was a coach at the Ballaz Camp this year.
"I am confident that I can become a good coach. I have served as a player-coach at my club whenever coach Edwards was away, and the feedback from the players has been good," she said.
She plans on participating in the next JFF level-one coaching course.