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Blake vows to remain focused

Published:Tuesday | December 19, 2017 | 12:00 AMMarc Stamp

National men's senior team goalkeeper and captain, AndrÈ Blake, is hoping to build on his 2017 CONCACAF awards.

Blake was named third in the Player of the Year category and second in the Goalkeeper of the Year on Sunday.

He finished behind Keylor Navas of Costa Rica and Real Madrid and Hirving Lozano of Mexico in player of the year voting. Blake was runner-up to Navas in the Goalkeeper of the Year section.

The Jamaican who is the first choice at MLS club Philadelphia Union had a tremendous year for country and club. He had also won the Golden Glove for top goalkeeper at the CONCACAF Gold Cup last summer while guiding Jamaica to the final where they lost to host country, the United States.

"It is definitely something I hope to build on. It is definitely a confidence booster but I won't let it get to me and affect me in any way or form. I will remain focused," Blake told The Gleaner yesterday.

"I will remain humble and grounded and focus on the job. I have one year left on my five-year contract with the MLS. As of now, that's where it stands," he shared.

"I have always wanted to play in Europe, ever since I was younger. But I only want to go to Europe at the right time and to the right team," the 27 year-old added.

"It is a big thing to know that a Jamaican has finished second and third in the entire CONCACAF. Hopefully my team-mates and the younger generation coming up can use this as a motivation to push and believe in themselves."

Blake hosted a fun day and treat for kids in his Canaan Heights community in Clarendon last Sunday.

"It was great, the kids had fun, and the turnout was great and the sponsors did a lot in helping in whatever way that they could," Blake recounted.

Sponsors included Russell's T20 Sports Bar, Young's Pharmacy, Murray's Paint Depot, Michael Ming Supermarket and Hotel Versailles.