Wed | Jul 8, 2020

Back to basics! - Phillips open to finishing career in RSPL

Published:Friday | June 5, 2020 | 12:24 AMAkino Ming/Staff Reporter
Phillips
Phillips

Former Reggae Boy Demar Phillips said he is open to returning home and finishing his lengthy and successful career in the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL), Jamaica’s top-flight football competition.

The 36-year-old, who has won 72 caps for the Reggae Boyz, has been without a team since last year after a short stint with Austin Bold in the USL Championships in the USA, as he has been battling injuries.

“I got a serious injury and sat out almost the entire 2018 season. I came back and played for Austin Bold, but it has been difficult to find a team after that because of my age and with the injury,” Phillips said. “But I do not want my career to end this way. I think I can play two more years, and I am open to playing locally again because that is where it all started.”

NATIONAL PROMINENCE

The native of St Thomas started out with York United, but it was his stint with Waterhouse between 2003 and 2007 that brought him to national prominence. He scored 15 times in 52 appearances for the Drewsland-based side and secured a move to English club team Stoke City, where he played for two years.

He also played for Norwegian club Aalesund between 2009 and 2014, and three seasons with Real Salt Lake.

“I think, at my age, I could assist the younger players coming [up] in terms of how they approach the game,” he said. “Because, in Jamaica, we do not start from the grassroots, so I think if I could play a senior role in a team where I could still help out the youngsters that it would be amazing.”

He continued: “I like the approach Mount Pleasant is taking with the academy, because it is best to teach the kids the right way to play from the beginning.”

Phillips played an important role in the Reggae Boyz outfit at the 2011 Gold Cup campaign, where he netted four times as Jamaica made it to the semi-final. He still has fond memories of that tournament and team, which he considers one of the country’s best.

“That was one of our best teams, because we gelled so much. We had a training camp in Brazil before the tournament and that helped us,” Phillips noted.

akino.ming@gleanerjm.com