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Nosworthy now a Reggae Boy

Published:Monday | May 14, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Nodley Wright, Gleaner Writer

Watford defender Byron Nosworthy will get his wish when he turns out for Jamaica next Friday against Guyana in a friendly international in Montego Bay.

The 31-year-old defender, who was born in England to a Jamaican father and a Guyanese mother, has long harboured the dream of joining the Reggae Boyz band.

"For me it is a great honour to play for my country," Nosworthy, who was spending time with relatives in Manchester, told The Gleaner on Friday.

"I have wanted to do this ever since I realised that I could play for Jamaica.

"Unfortunately injuries and other circumstances prevented me from doing so before now, but now that the opportunity has come I plan to make the most of it," continued the man who spent six years learning his craft at Gillingham before moving on to Sunderland where he played another six years.

The desire to play for the country of his father has always been strong, Nosworthy said.

"My mother is from Guyana, but I made it clear early that I wanted to play for Jamaica.

"Jamaica is part of my heritage, part of my culture. Guyana is too, but Jamaica is it for me and I visit Jamaica every year. With me playing football I have always wanted to play for my country," he explained.

Jamaica's successful journey to the France 1998 World Cup also increased Nosworthy's hunger to represent Jamaica.

Inspiration from past

"Looking at the 1998 World Cup was also an inspiration for me. People like Fitzroy Simpson, Robbie Earle, Deon Burton and the others all inspired me. Perhaps the biggest inspiration for me though was Ricardo Gardner and what he achieved with Bolton (Wanderers). He played at the highest level for most of his career and that is what I aspired to."

Now that he has become a part of the Jamaican national set-up, Nosworthy has his mind on helping to create more history.

"My goal with the Jamaican team is to create more history with the country. First of all though I want to get to know the boys, get myself in the squad and of course producing the goods," said the solidly-built player. "I am really looking forward to it.

"I do not know too many of the players in the squad personally. Marlon King I have known for a while since we both played at Gillingham, while I know Ricardo Fuller, Claude Davis and Damion Stewart, but I am sure we could all get together and do great things for the country," he added.

As to what he brings to the table Nosworthy said mostly reliability.

"Fans should look for security from me. I am reliable. On the field I am a strong player, resolute and calm when I need to be, but I know how to rough it up also. I can play football. If I need to play it out of defence I can do that too, I am pretty much versatile," he outlined.

Despite standing a shade under six feet, Nosworthy, who plays mostly in the centre of the defensive unit, said that is not a disadvantage.

"I stand just about 5'11", but my presence on the pitch is big. I am good aerially. I am predominantly a right-footed player, but I can and have played across the entire backline," said the very Jamaican-sounding player.

Nosworthy goes into camp with the other members of the squad today.