Sun | May 28, 2017

Barnes wants dream start at National Stadium

Published:Thursday | September 3, 2015 | 9:00 AMShayne Fairman

Believing he's had the perfect start to national duties, striker Giles Barnes is looking to fire the Reggae Boyz to victory when they play Central American rivals Nicaragua in the first leg of their 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers at the National Stadium tomorrow night.

Barnes, 27, made his national debut in Montego Bay earlier this year and scored his first goal for Jamaica. He also netted two crucial strikes in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, which helped Jamaica become the first Caribbean country to play in that final. They were defeated 3-1 by many-time winners Mexico.

"To score again for the country, in Kingston, would be dreams come true. That's a bonus. I just want to win the game and get through and make sure we are in the World Cup qualifiers," he told The Gleaner in an interview.

The English-born Jamaican currently plays for Houston Dynamo in Major League Soccer and notes he is ready to lead from the front again.

"If the team is looking forward to me to produce, that's not an overreliance, that's actually my own doing. I look forward to it," he said.

"I rise to the pressure and keep performing and make sure that the team does well. That's all that matters to me at the end of the day," he stressed.

Barnes maintains he is a team player: "I don't care who scores. I don't care who assists as long as I have done my part to help my team get through.

"We know that they're gonna be very good technically on the ball, but we feel like we have got a lot more athleticism than a lot of the teams all over the world, not just this team, so we will be looking to use it as a main weapon," Barnes pointed out.

He underlined other factors such as power and good team vibes/chemistry as the team's main strengths going forward.

"We've missed each other since the Gold Cup. We always want to build on our chemistry. As long as our vibes is good, we believe nothing can go wrong," he concluded.