Marc Stamp, Gleaner Writer
Former Jamaica youth football representative, Akeem Priestly, scored on his debut for his new club, RoPS Rovaniemi, in a 4-0 win against IFK Mariehamn in the semi-final of the Finnish Cup on Saturday in Finland.
Priestly joined the club on Friday and played a day later. He came off the bench late in the game and scored minutes after to seal the win as RoPS advanced to the final against Dudu Omagbani's Kups on September 28.
"It was a great feeling to score in my first game for RoPS. I came in on Friday and was on the bench, then with the score at 3-0, the coach put me in and I scored minutes later," Priestly told The Gleaner when contacted in Finland yesterday.
Priestly refused to give financial details of the contract, but said "Financially, it is good enough, and this contract gets me closer to Russia. And as long as you are in Europe, other clubs can see you, anything is possible."
The 28-year-old disclosed that winning the Finnish Cup could see his club playing in the Europa League. His contract with RoPS ends in October, when the Finland Veikkausliga concludes. The RoPS are currently in 11th position in the premier league, after being promoted from the first division last season.
With regards to representing the national senior team again, Priestly said: "It is always good to play for the country. I would not turn down the opportunity to play for Jamaica."
Priestly, who impressed at the youth level for Jamaica, was drafted by Kansas City Wizards in the 2008 Major League Soccer (MLS) SuperDraft, but wasn't offered a contract by the club.
He later signed with Jamaican club Harbour View, who loaned him to Azerbaijan club FK Mughan in the 2009/10 season. In April 2011, Priestly signed with the Los Angeles Blues for the season. He joined Dayton Dutch Lions for the 2012 season. Now he is at RoPS.