Audley Boyd, Assistant Editor - Sports
KANSAS CITY, Kansas:
Jermaine 'TUFFY' ANDERSON is no ordinary striker. His confidence is not easily matched. The way the burly centre forward has fused both to get himself a place in the senior men's national football team is also just different.
Never before has a player in recent memory launched a virtual one-man campaign to get a play in the Reggae Boyz team.
Tuffy did that.
And he soon got others for support, and belief.
Anderson is a goalscorer of repute. The Jamaica team has had a really difficult task scoring in this CONCACAF final round World Cup Qualifying (WCQ) series. After seven of its 10 matches, the team had only scored two goals.
Having been overlooked by many coaches, the Waterhouse man finally got his desire, a call-up from newly appointed coach, German Winfried Schäfer, for Jamaica's seventh match, away in Panama. He didnt feature in tha game, but when he did against Costa Rica a few days later, he made the most of his opportunity with a last-minute equalising quote.
"It's not a normal goal," said Anderson, of the strike that keeps Jamaica in the hunt, with a razor-thin chance of qualifying to the World Cup Final next near. "It's that Jermaine Taylor, dem man deh who make the pass, from that ball deh take off from him foot, trust me, I just keep my eyes on it, a so it set, just commonsense. And that night, maybe if mi did go with mi right foot we lose; the greatest thing, the option come and mi just say make mi put mi left foot because that's the only foot mi can use on that ball on that night."
He added: "Once you're a goalscorer, goal just drop pon you, you know. But I'm just a natural goalscorer. Me nuh really have any skill or anything like that you know, I know God just give me this gift to just go out there and score goals and that's what I want to do right now in this little period of time that we have left in this football."
Few can argue about Anderson's goalscoring abilities. For more than 13 years, he has been topping or close to the top of the scoring charts in all leagues he has played.
"The honest truth is from this name Tuffy progress into the premier league this name Tuffy has been scoring a whole heap of goals. More time a get nuff overlook because I think I should have gone whole heap a caps for this country based on the number of goals that mi a score in the premier league, first from Granville," he reminded.
"Me a play for Granville one year and score 55 goals in all competitions in that year, 55 goals me alone score. That year was 2000. I left Granville and go to Seba United and was scoring a whole heap of goals same way; leave Seba and go Wadadah and score whole heap of goals. Mi even come back out of the premier league and go in the lower leagues, score whole heap of goals same way, mash up dung deh, come back up with Granville United same way. That is the club that 'buss me' ... push me out there."
Continuing, Anderson said: "I went even to Village, score whole heap of goals same way, leave Village go back to Wadadah that year. You have me and Kevin Lamey - them man deh a score 23 goals and me a run him down same way, a score 19.
"Them time deh, you have Roen Nelson, you have Christopher Nicholas, you have 'Chippy' McDonald. But all of them players deh did a get good service ... if me did get the real type of service and real type of coaching, mi wouldn't did deh ya today day - long time mi woulda in a England. Me think me should have been farther in the ball game, but a how life go," he added.