'Tuffy' ready for Panama
Nodley Wright, Gleaner Writer
Jermaine 'Tuffy' Anderson and Waterhouse defeated the relegation-bound Savannah 4-0 on Monday night in the Red Stripe Premier League.
The win lifted Waterhouse back into fourth position, but Anderson's major concern, after getting all four goals, was that he was being shown no love by the national team.
Anderson's strikes which came in the 23rd, 70th, 79th and 82nd minutes, were all different and showed his versatility as a goalscorer, which is something that could benefit the national team. Now would be the best time to involve him, the St James native said.
"I am ready for a game against Panama now but first of all, I have to give God thanks for giving me this ability," Anderson said, before breaking out into an impassioned plea for some belief in him and an opportunity by the coaching staff.
The man who currently leads the RSPL goalscoring chart with 16 believes that there is little else he needs to do.
"It is proven that I am a good striker," said the St James High School student.
"Now is the time for me. I am working hard and I use my job at Tank-Weld as a gym.
"I am a natural, a natural goalscorer. This body and speed that I have is natural and I am making the best use of it," he added.
Anderson's last involvement with the national team was the ill-fated Caribbean Cup campaign last December. That performance, he said, cannot be used to measure his ability.
"I went to the Caribbean Cup but I did not get a fair chance. I played only one 90-minute match and a part of another. I played another eight minutes, but that was not enough. I need a run.
"I don't think it is fair to judge me on one match," stated Anderson, who added that the kind of football played by the team at that time did not suit him. The Reggae Boyz, he said, played most of their football in their own half and provided limited service to the forwards.
Two other things Anderson said people have been using against him are the idea that he is "a Premier League baller" and that he is too old.
"I am not listening to talk about me just being a Premier League footballer. This is the highest league in the country and I am performing in it, so nothing else should matter. I am comparing myself to (Robin) van Persie and (Luis) Suarez, those are the players I compare myself to," he said, defiantly.
On the age matter he said: "I want to put this age thing to rest. I am performing and, in fact, I am still looking at the possibility of playing overseas.
"This thing about age is foolishness. Look at Ryan Giggs at 40 and how he is performing. I am 33, going 34, and I am still doing it. That is all that should matter. I am still capable of doing it for my country.
"They keep talking about youths, youths, but I do not see any youngsters stepping up. It is just me and Kirk Ramsay, a 33-year-old and 36-year-old, who are really scoring," said Anderson of himself and the man who have been dominating the scoring tables in the last three years.
Monday night's game, Anderson said, was reminder to the national coaching staff of what he can do.
"It is just for them in the national programme to believe in me and give me the opportunity. All I need now is some training and to develop some understanding with the players. If I was in the team for the Mexico game, I would have scored and killed Mexico to create history.
"I am ready to stand up to anybody right now," Anderson declared reminding that he is willing and ready to take up arms for his country in the World Cup qualifiers against Panama on March 22.
Born to only score goals
The only man who has scored three or more goals in a Premier League match so far this season said representing his country has been a desire of his for the longest time and is the reason for him migrating from Montego Bay to Kingston.
"I left Montego Bay because I want better. I was born to score goals. I have nothing else in me. Once I get the service, I will score, and I want to do that for my country. That is my dream, that is why I am at Waterhouse," he explained.
So far, Anderson's journey has largely been frustrating and even saw him toy with the idea of giving up.
"I go to my bed at nights wondering what I have done to be treated this way. Sometimes I think of giving it up, but I say no, because this is my God-given gift. This is what I am blessed with, so I am not going to give it up," he said with the fire burning in his eyes.