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'I'd love to see him play for Jamaica'

Published:Tuesday | March 2, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Mother of Liverpool signee wants son to represent country of birth

Andre Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter

At 15 years old, Jamaica-born footballing prodigy Raheem Sterling is already capturing the British headlines, after recently penning a contract with European giants Liverpool amid interest from some of the top clubs in England.

Sterling, who grew up in the Queen's Park Rangers (QPR) youth system, drawing comparisons to the likes of international superstars Wayne Rooney and Theo Walcott, chose the Merseyside-based team over the likes of heavyweights Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal and Fulham.

The youngster, who recently made his debut for the England Under-16 team, was landed for a reported fee of £300,000, with QPR expected to receive further instalments if the one-time Maverley native breaks into the Liverpool first team.

His performances with the national team have done little to quell the hype around the winger, with several British publications hailing the speedy and skilful player as the next great English talent.

Hopes to represent JA

However, Sterling is first and foremost a Jamaican, and despite the obvious temptation of playing for England, he has not turned his back on his country of birth and still harbours thoughts of one day donning the Jamaican colours.

Sterling's mother, Nadine, is extremely proud of her son's achievement and was clear about the colours in which she would like to see his international future unfold.

Said Nadine: "I'm a true-born Jamaican and I love Jamaica so much. I always tell him that I would love to see him represent and play in my colours, his colours. So, of course, I would love to see him play for Jamaica one day."

She added: "I'm very happy for him; what makes him happy makes me happy, and I know that this is something that he is extremely happy about. He loves football and we are talking about Liverpool here, so again, I'm very happy about everything."

The youngster will travel to the club today where he will finalise some paperwork with authorities, and has already been included in the club's plans later this month for some promotional activity in Vietnam.

"He (Sterling) is in very high spirits, he is very excited about this and he is looking forward to getting started," Nadine shared.

She added that the Liverpool choice was not a difficult one, and that the club made it even easier by quickly matching QPR's evaluation of the player, while other clubs showed a reluctance to fork out the sum.

"They (Liverpool) were the only club that were really willing to pay up the money that QPR wanted for him, so Liverpool were obviously keen on getting him and they showed that they were serious," Nadine stated.

Head of development for QPR, Steve Gallen, has heaped praise on the youngster: "(Sterling) has loads of natural ability. This boy can pass, shoot, head it, score goals, tackle, defend, anything."

Liverpool's Managing Director Christian Purslow has lauded his new signing, telling the British press: "We have made clear that we will invest in outstanding young talent. Raheem is a very exciting young English player whose progress was being closely monitored by many other leading clubs and I'm delighted he's joining us."