Lack of earning power hurting footballers – Alburn Facey
Standout defender Alburn Facey has given up on any realistic hopes of donning the Reggae Boyz jersey and has cited the scarcity of true earning potential for young footballers, as one reason he thinks many of his peers will turn their backs on the beautiful game.
At just 24, Facey, became one the most respected players within the Reno FC squad for five years, rising through the ranks to also captain the team before walking away to represent his boyhood club, Downs FC, in St Elizabeth.
"My hopes of playing for the national team have died," said Facey. "I realise this when I look at the lack of endeavour from those who pick the squad to look the way of young players," he said.
"Not being paid what you think you deserve based on your quality, in what is said to be the best league in the country, is a big turn off for me and also for many other players," Facey stated.
The former Manchester High School daCosta Cup team captain is questioning the structure of the game as laid out by the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), and how clubs organise funds to pay players.
He said too many young, gifted football players have given up on the game because they cannot make a living from it and that the JFF is not taking these factors into account.
"What do they (the clubs and the JFF) expect us to do? Many of us have our little families that depend on us. The clubs cannot pay, or they pay minimum, and you are not even likely to expand your horizons by playing in the national team so you can have an opportunity to be seen by international scouts," the Downs FC defender stated.
"I was refused the opportunity to go play in Antigua and earn for my young family by my former club. I recently got my first child. I need to earn, plus the national team, it seems, will never happen, so I decided, at least to give my time to a cause that suits me.
"I am from Downs, so I returned to help them push towards the premier league, where, maybe, some other young player can get the chance it seems I will never get," Facey said.