Sat | Dec 5, 2020

‘Where I want to be’ - Reggae Boy Damion Lowe focused on getting back to best form

Published:Saturday | October 24, 2020 | 12:13 AMDaniel Wheeler/Staff Reporter
Jamaica’s Damion Lowe (right) and Panama’s Gabriel Torres battle for the ball during the first half of a Concacaf Gold Cup match in Philadelphia on Sunday, June 30, 2019.
Jamaica’s Damion Lowe (right) and Panama’s Gabriel Torres battle for the ball during the first half of a Concacaf Gold Cup match in Philadelphia on Sunday, June 30, 2019.

On the verge of advancing to the United Soccer League (USL) final, national defender Damion Lowe says that he is slowly getting back to his best as he continues his play-off campaign with Phoenix Rising FC.

Phoenix will host El Paso Locomotive in tonight’s Western Conference Final at 9:30 Jamaica time. The winner advances to the grand final on November 1 to face either Louisville City or the Tampa Rowdies, whose Eastern Conference Final match will take place earlier at 6:30 p.m.

Lowe, 27 years old, signed with the club in September after his three-year stint with Norwegian Club IK Start ended in May. He says that the late move to Phoenix has worked out in his favour as it is allowing him to be the best version of himself as a player.

“I think it worked out perfectly for me because as much as I wanted to be playing over the summer, I felt like me going into the end of the year now, I’m getting where I want to be,” Lowe told The Gleaner. “Because going into the new year now, I just carry it [my form] over into club football, plus going into the World Cup qualifiers and the Gold Cup. So, I think everything is playing out perfectly for me.”

INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLIES

In addition to his recent good fortune at the club level, he confirmed that he has been invited to take part in Jamaica’s pair of international friendlies against Saudi Arabia next month.

It has taken time for Lowe to get back his match fitness, having not played competitively since November 2019. But he says that with the help of head coach Rick Schantz, he has been able to increase his sharpness and adapt to the team quickly.

“We figured out a programme for me to push myself and not do too much and it worked out,” he said. “I’ve gotten a couple of games under my belt. Obviously, I couldn’t just jump in and play back-to-back games. They kind of managed me to keep me fresh and not burn me out because I’m just coming back to full playing.”

Lowe has played both games in Phoenix’s play-off campaign so far, including their penalty shoot-out win over Reno 1868 FC in the conference semi-finals. With the aim of a second appearance in the final in three years, he is confident about their chances because of their performances this season.

“Before I came there, everything was together,” he said. “They were the best team in the league. So, me coming in, it’s just added fuel to the engine. I’m just here to contribute and help my team in any way [I can].”