Sun | Sep 26, 2021

Nicholson’s golden ambition

Published:Sunday | June 28, 2020 | 12:26 AMRobert Bailey - Sunday Gleaner Writer

Having netted nine goals in his first season in the Belgian top tier, national striker Shamar Nicholson now has his eyes fixed on capturing the Golden Boot in next season’s competition.

Nicholson, a former Boys’ Town striker, scored his goals in 25 appearances for Sporting Charleroi, who finished third in the standings behind league winners Club Brugge.

The 23-year Nicholson told The Sunday Gleaner from his base in Belgium that he was not totally satisfied with his performance in the league last season and will be looking to improve in the next campaign.

“I am pleased with my performance, but I think I could have done a lot more by scoring more goals,” said Nicholson. “But it was my first season in the league and I didn’t do any preseason training with the team or anything because I joined in the season.

“However, I think that once I am injury-free and I am fit, I believe that I can challenge for the golden boot,” Nicholson said. “I don’t have a target as to how many goals I am aiming to score but I just want to score as many as possible.”

Making his mark

Nicholson underlined that his performances in the league have not gone unnoticed because a lot of people in Belgium now recognise who is, and he has been getting a lot of respect from fellow players and coaches around the country.

“The people in Belgium recognise who Shamar Nicholson is, and I think that they will now realise that there are good players from Jamaica,” he added. “It was Leon Bailey (first) and now I am getting the respect from the people in Belgium, and they admire my game a lot and also my professionalism.”

Like his national teammate Bailey, who currently plies his trade for Bayer Leverkusen in Germany, having started his career in Belgium with Genk, Nicholson is hoping to move to a bigger club in the future.

“I don’t want to rush anything because I think I have a lot more to learn and a lot more to develop,” said Nicholson. “I just want to gain as much experience as possible in Belgium and when the time comes to move on to the next step, then I will go to the next step,” he said.

Nicholson recently returned to preseason training with his team, and he stated that things have gone well so far.

“I was training with my personal trainer before preseason training started because I didn’t go to Jamaica, and this has helped me a lot and so I am going really hard in preseason,” Nicholson said.

“Every aspect of my game has improved both physically and mentally. I did strength and endurance work and I am seeing the improvements in preseason training now,” he said.