By Nodley Wright, Staff Reporter
NATIONAL REPRESENTATIVES Claude Davis and Omar Daley were due to leave the island last night for trials with English First Division clubs.
Davis, who has been a standout with the national team since his breakout game against Nigeria in May last year in London, is headed for Preston North End. Preston North End also feature fellow Reggae Boy Ricardo Fuller.
Daley, an explosive midfielder, was to travel to the Netherlands to join up with prospective club Stoke City.
According to a press release with the logo of agent Phil Graham, "both players have excellent chances of securing permanent contracts".
This contradicted an earlier report which indicated that a one-year deal was agreed to for Davis, subject to the granting of a work permit.
Lenworth Hyde, who guided the Davis-captained Hazard United to the 2002-2003 Wray and Nephew National Premier League championship, was under the impression that Davis's offer was secure and was happy for him.
"Great, great," Hyde told The Gleaner yesterday. "It has been one of his dreams (to play abroad professionally) and I wish him all the best," he said.
Hyde, who said he was a classmate of Carlton Davis - father of Claude, was of the view that such a break could not have come to a more deserving player.
STALWART IN DEFENCE
"He is a stalwart in our defence, a hard worker. He is a player who when he leaves the national training for Hazard's goes about his business with the same intensity," said Hyde, adding that the player hates to lose even at scrimmage.
Besides his happiness as a member of the Hazard coaching staff, Hyde said it was good to see a player from the community of Rae Town "elevating himself through sports".
With all of that, Hyde was quick to point out that such an opportunity was only the beginning.
"It is like passing the common entrance. It is just the beginning the work starts now."
With Davis' attributes of being a willing listener and a quick learner he should adapt quickly, Hyde believes. Davis himself could not be reached as his cell phone was switched off.
Of Daley, Hyde said: "I am also hoping that something will work out for Omar. He has really changed his attitude and is focussing on his game.
"I see it in his eyes that he wants it. I tell them though that once they are true and fair to themselves they will succeed."