Fri | Dec 14, 2018

'Teddy' warns young local players

Published:Saturday | June 17, 2017 | 12:00 AMLivingston Scott
Recalled Reggae Boy Jermaine Johnson greets young player Alex Marshall before a recent Reggae Boyz training session.

Veteran national senior football, Jermaine 'Teddy' Johnson, believes the egos of young, upcoming players is the biggest obstacle in their careers.

Speaking on Hitz 92FM's Girls' Sports Club recently, Johnson said young players lose sight of the big picture as soon as they get a piece of the limelight.

Johnson challenged youngsters to take their careers seriously and put in the work required to get to the top of the profession.

"If they (young players) play for the national team or Boys' Town or Tivoli, the egos get big and they believe they reach (the top). Because they start to get girls, they believe they reach already and don't tell themselves they can go further," Johnson said.




"So sometimes they lose focus and don't have no one talking to them. They don't have a father figure, all they hear is you are a big player, so they lose sight of the bigger picture," he continued.

Johnson returned to Jamaica in 2015 after 13 seasons in England. For the 2016-2017 season he set the league alight with his exciting dribbles and breathtaking goals.

In a league bereft of real stars and quality players, Johnson was a bright spot, scoring 16 goals to top the scoring charts and earned a national team recall.

The 31-year-old noted that young players are not motivated to train, underlining that hard work is the main ingredient if a player is to make progress in the overseas market, especially in Europe.

"If they are to be contracted overseas they must be willing to train and work hard. Some of them don't want to train. I see it at Tivoli. Most don't want to train, they believe they can use natural talent and play, but you have to put in the work.

"If you get a contract that is where it starts. When you start playing, then you will have to start fight for your spot. In Jamaica they (players) don't train and they know you are going to play the Sunday coming. But in England or wherever, you know you have to work hard and train hard to keep your game," he continued.

In closing, he had some parting advice for the troubled Jourdaine Fletcher and other young local talents.

"Stop running around and doing stupid stuff. I would tell him (Fletcher) to do the right thing because school is more important than football itself. Be confident and take it (career) serious," Johnson said.