Mon | Jun 18, 2018

McCleary aims for greater contribution to Reggae Boyz

Published:Monday | June 3, 2013 | 12:00 AM

The Reggae Boyz have found the back of the net only once in the three games they have played to date in the final phase of the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying (WCQ) campaign. This goal was headed in from a corner kick by defensive midfielder Marvin Elliott in a 1-1 draw against Panama at the National Stadium.

The Boyz are badly in need of goals and there would be no better time for them to come than now with the team having three games in eight days; the first being against Mexico tomorrow.

One of the players entrusted with finding the goals and setting up others is winger Gareth McCleary, who is one of the most skilful members of the squad.

"I think most of the team will be disappointed that we haven't scored more goals," McCleary said. "We have created a few chances, and I think if you ask anyone we are a bit disappointed.

"We got to take each game as it comes and, hopefully, we can start by getting a few goals against Mexico at home."


McCleary represented Reading in the just-concluded English Premier League, from which they were relegated. The 26-year-old spent the earlier part of the season on the bench, but when the club acquired new manager Nigel Adkins in March, he started seeing more playing time.

"I scored a few more goals under the new manager, so hopefully I can bring that form into the national team and, hopefully, get some more goals from where I left off at Reading," McCleary said. "I think this will be my fourth cap and I pride myself on goals and creating goals, so if I can do that and bring something to the team, I will be more than happy."

McCleary can hardly wait for the start of tomorrow's game as he is looking forward to tackling the top-ranked team in the region.

"To be honest, I can't wait for the game to start; I want it to start now, so I am very much looking forward to it," McCleary told The Gleaner. "Every player wants to play against the best teams, so for most of us I know we are going to be thriving."