Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer
National striker Marlon King has vowed to do his best to help Jamaica's Reggae Boyz qualify for next year's FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
King, who has had a change of heart after announcing his retirement from international football last year, arrived in the island yesterday ahead of the Reggae Boyz's crucial CONCACAF final-round World Cup Qualifier against Panama in Panama City on Friday. The Reggae Boyz will oppose Costa Rica at the National Stadium four days later.
Also arriving with King were Jermaine Johnson, Rodolph Austin, Lloyd Doyley, Chris Humphrey, Jobi McAnuff, Marvin Elliot, Wes Morgan, Shaun Cummings and Theo Robinson.
The 33-year-old King, who has scored 12 goals in 22 appearances for Jamaica, is regarded as a top striker, but has had a troubled relationship with the national team.
Snubbed by whitmore
He was ignored by former head coach Theodore Whitmore after serving a two-match suspension for violating team curfew rules during the semi-final-round qualifiers last year. Now King has put all that behind him and is looking forward to leading the Reggae Boyz attack.
"I was asked to come out of retirement, and it's a new set-up now and we are trying to move forward to try and have a chance to qualify for the World Cup 2014," said King.
"What has gone is in the past, and there is no point in discussing what is in the past and it's time to move forward now. Negativity just takes up too much time and energy .... ," King said.
King, who is now a free agent after being released by Birmingham City, added that he was looking forward to donning the national colours.
"It's an honour to play for my country," said King. "I am here, if selected to try and play my part just like everybody else. I will not put any pressure on myself. I didn't come out here with any expectations; if I am selected, I am just going to play my part."
"It's one game at time, because the players that were called have a lot of experience and we have got a new coach, and so I am looking forward to it," King pointed out.
The Reggae Boyz are hoping to snatch the fourth-place play-off spot that would pit them against the champions of Oceania in their bid to qualify for the World Cup.
The United States lead the points standing with 13, followed by Costa Rica on 11, Mexico on 10, Honduras, seven, and Panama, six, and Jamaica, two.