Sat | Dec 10, 2016

Barbican goalie aiming to get hands on pro contract

Published:Wednesday | February 11, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Marc Stamp, Gleaner Writer

Barbican FC's first-choice goalkeeper, Ashek Taylor, hopes to continue playing well in order to get another call-up to the national senior football team.

Since moving to Barbican from Whitfield Town FC, Taylor has been performing well between the sticks and received immense praises from new coach Marvin Tate.

"I hope to keep working hard to get another opportunity with the Jamaica team and then move overseas on a professional contract. My preference is in the MLS in America as a start," Taylor told The Gleaner.

Tate, who took over at Barbican last month as the third coach employed by the St Andrew club in their debut season, believes Taylor is a future Reggae Boy.

"He has everything to excel as a goalie. Ashek is doing well for us and really helping the team in our quest to stay in the national league," said Tate.

Taylor admitted that because of the competition in the goalkeeping position, he has to be working very hard to keep the starting spot.

"We have two other excellent goalkeepers in Shaven Paul, who came over from Portmore United, and Nicholas Campbell, who was a regular here. They have me working very hard," said Tate, a Petrojam contractor in the safety department.

Taylor previously represented Harbour View in the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL), but decided to leave for more playing time. He also wanted to continue working and Harbour View did not encourage that.

"I couldn't work and play at Harbour View, plus I wanted more playing time, so I decided to leave for Barbican," he disclosed.

INTENSE FIGHT

With Barbican sitting at the bottom of the RSPL on 20 points from 22 games, behind Sporting Central and Reno with 21 apiece, the fight is intense to avoid relegation.

"It is tight in the relegation battle, so our main focus is to accumulate enough points to stay in the league. We aim to go on a winning run and move away from the bottom," Taylor pointed out.

The goalkeeper said with Tate coming in as coach and having players like Andrew Christie, Akeem Brown and Nicholas Smith, the team is playing much better.

"We have experienced players and the coach has brought discipline to the team. We are focused on teamwork," he informed.

In the last game on Sunday, Barbican escaped with a point as Lennox Russell's last-minute headed goal gave them a 2-2 draw against Reno.

"In that game we knew it would be difficult, as the rain came down before the game started. It was not suitable for us to play our usual passing game. However, it was a good point to pick up," Taylor assessed.

Barbican will next play second-place Waterhouse in the RSPL on Sunday at Barbican Complex, starting at 3 p.m.

"All I can say is that it will be a rough game against a very balanced Waterhouse team," Taylor pointed out. "We will also play Waterhouse in the Jackie Bell final three days later, and that will be another tough game."

Taylor represented Calabar High in the Under-14 and Under-16 competitions, but missed Manning Cup due to his track and field commitments. However, his love for football led him to continue the sport after leaving Calabar and he now wants to transition to the international stage.