Wed | Aug 16, 2017

Reggae Boy Burke wants to be the man

Published:Tuesday | November 15, 2016 | 11:00 AMLivingston Scott

After netting his second goal in three games for the Reggae Boyz, former Rivoli United frontman Cory Burke says he is ready to carry the mantle as the country's main goal-getter from now on.

Burke, netted the all-important goal in Jamaica's Caribbean Football Union Caribbean Cup-qualifying match against Suriname at the National Stadium and the 24-year-old told The Gleaner that the confidence placed in him by the coaching staff is pushing him on in what has been an impressive start to his international career.

"I have played three games for my country and I have scored two goals. That is a good record so far," Burke noted. "The coaching staff is looking to me to be that player, to be the goalscorer for the country, and it's a great opportunity to get the chance to be that player.

"Once I put in the work, things will come easy," he added.

THREE-PRONGED ATTACK

Against Suriname, 'Buju', as he is commonly called, played in the middle of a three-pronged attack with Owayne Gordon on the right and Dino Williams on the left. The lanky striker did well to hold up the ball and bring his fellow attackers into the play.

His moment came early in the first half when he checked his run before latching on to a pass from Williams to steer home a low cross for the only goal of the game.

A minute later, he had another great chance to score but he chose to pass to Dino Williams, who over-hit his effort.

Burke, is currently signed to United Soccer League team Bethlehem Steels (an affiliate of MLS club Philadelphia Union), and he is eyeing his chance to play in the MLS and expects his goal on Sunday to put him closer to making the step up in division.

"This (goal) will be a big chance for me to get into the MLS. Being a part of the national first team, my agent is always telling that whenever I get a chance to play in the national team I should always try to score a goal or two, so it's a big opportunity for me being in the first team and scoring, it means a lot," he said

Burke thought he could have done more in the game but was pleased with his contribution nonetheless.

"We expected to win, maybe by more goals, but we went down to 10 men, and after that, it was going to be difficult ... . But it is the three points that matter. I believe I could have done better, but I got the go-ahead goal, and that goal helped us to win the game, so I am pleased about that," Burke closed.

livingston.scott@gleanerjm.com