Ryon Jones, Gleaner Writer
Jamaica international Damion 'Stew peas' Stewart has signed a lucrative three-year deal with Football League Championship outfit Bristol City.
Stewart was signed from Queens Park Rangers (QPR) for an undisclosed sum. Bristol City is coached by Steve Coppell, who,just five years ago, brought Reading to the premiership and guided them to a sixth-place finish.
Stewart, who is the first Jamaican player to play for a London club, was named QPR's player of the season in the 2008-09 season. He was about to go into his fifth season with QPR when Bristol City came knocking, and according to Stewart's agent, Romel Wallen of Pro-goals Sports Management, it was a case of choosing the club with the greater ambition.
"It was just a case of a club outdoing another in terms of their ambition and their love," said Wallen. "They (Bristol City) got David James from Portsmouth signed the same day as Damion and Nicky Hunt from Bolton. So in other words, they have bought three players so far this off-season - Nicky Hunt, David James, who are two players from the premiership, and Damion Stewart. So it shows you in what high regard they hold him (Stewart).
"It is a lucrative three-year deal, which is fantastic for him at age 29. That is unprecedented really in the general context of football, let alone for a Jamaican," he added.
Wallen further believes that it augurs well for Jamaica despite no new players being able to play in England at this time due to Jamaica's lowly FIFA ratings.
"By getting such a lucrative deal at 29, it shows that he is being rewarded for the work he has done and it puts us back on the planet as it shows that a Jamaican defender can come up here and do well over a long period of time and be rewarded for that," he added.
Stewart, who will turn 30 on August 18, is delighted with his move and is looking forward to helping his new club gain promotion.
"To be acknowledged by a club like Bristol, that is really looking to make steps forward, and seeing me as part of their plans, is a good feeling. I am really delighted," said Stewart. "I have only been at the club for three days now and I have spoken with the coach and he has told me straightforward that his plan is to get promoted by whichever means possible," he added.