Top daCosta Cup marksman looks to make life in the MLS
With his taste for success ignited and after scoring a competition-high 33 goals for the 2015 daCosta and Ben Francis Cup champions, St Elizabeth Technical (STETHS), Michael Kerr is eyeing a scholarship and, ultimately, a professional contract in the US Major League Soccer or in Europe.
Kerr, who is popularly known as 'Diddy', told The Gleaner he has learned to appreciate hard work, and has matured both as a footballer and as a person since donning the gold and blue of Santa Cruz-based STETHS.
Kerr, who left defenders in his wake, scoring almost at will to fire his team into three finals, missed the final of the Olivier Shield two weeks ago against Jamaica College due to an ankle injury that required surgery.
He is now on the mend, but noted that the ill-timed injury he picked up in the daCosta Cup final against Dinthill Technical could not have happened at a most inappropriate time. The striker was chasing 40 goals for the season.
"It was a bad-enough injury that required surgery. I really wanted to play in the Olivier Shield final because I wanted to get as close as possible to the 40-goal mark, which I had set (as my target) for the season," said Kerr.
"It was not to be, and I was disappointed, but I am strong, and the team did well, although we did not win," he added.
The 18-year-old striker said his efforts in attack for STETHS have been the highlight of his relatively young football life so far. But his love for the game actually began a lot earlier.
Kerr is a past student of the Sir Clifford Campbell Primary School in Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland, and the Mt Grace All-Age School.
His journey continued, and he left Mt Grace for Godfrey Stewart High, where played a year in the daCosta Cup, before he was spotted and invited to join the ranks at STETHS by the keen-eyed Wendell Downswell, STETHS' technical director, in 2014.
"It is at STETHS that I truly began to blossom as a striker," Kerr stated. "With the help of my coaches and teammates, I have become a more lethal striker. I score from anywhere around the box. I am proud of myself.
"I know my ability, and my ability is scoring goals. I hope to continue doing so, after moving on from schoolboy football," said the striker.
In spite of his success on the field, Kerr has not lost sight of the ultimate challenge. He said his aim is to gain a scholarship to a university or college in the United States and use that to enhance his football career.
"That is my dream. I am trying to sort out a scholarship and to keep playing football, primarily in the US, and kick-start a career from there with one of the MLS teams," reasoned Kerr.
"And if that does not work out, I am looking at becoming a lawyer." I believe I will be equally good at that," the STETHS striker said.