Western Grandstand- Jourdaine Fletcher is indeed a special talent
Last Friday night while listening to the sportscast on one of our local radio stations, I heard an interview in which Cornwall College's daCosta Cup star Jourdaine Fletcher spoke about his impending Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) debut for Montego Bay United (MBU) FC against Waterhouse FC, which took place this past Sunday.
In listening to the confidence exuding from Fletcher, I was so impressed that, while I have not been a frequent visitor to RSPL games, as I am finding them increasingly boring, I decided I would watch to see to what extent Fletcher would be able to back up his talk.
I am extremely happy that I attended the game because Fletcher not only backed up his talk, but he was a breath of fresh air to the game. In the 45 minutes on the field, he generated the kind of excitement that I have not seen in an NPL game in recent years, and to cap it all off, he scored a goal of absolute beauty.
NOT OUT OF PLACE
What I particularly liked about Fletcher's performance was the fact that at no time did he look out of place. There was absolutely no doubt that he deserved to be out there. He was sharp, composed and just as commanding as he was on the schoolboy circuit months ago.
I have been watching and playing football for well over four decades, and I believe that qualifies me to recognise good talent when I see it. Even without seeing Fletcher in another RSPL game, I believe that he is the real deal, and I would like national coach Theodore 'Tappa' Whitmore to draft him into the national senior squad immediately.
As for the persons questioning Fletcher's readiness with loose talk, claiming that he did not encounter any top-class defenders on the schoolboy circuit so it is wrong to say he is ready for senior football, I believe they should raise the matter with the Waterhouse defenders who faced him on Sunday.
I would like to use this opportunity to congratulate MBU's boss Orville Powell for negotiating Fletcher's transfer from his old St James Division One team, Falklands FC. A player of his quality would simply be wasting time playing at a level below his ability. He needs to be playing against the best players in Jamaica.
One thing I am quite sure about, and that is many football fans who were steadily losing interest in the RSPL now have a good reason to start attending games again, especially MBU games.
Jourdaine Fletcher is easily the best young talent I have seen since Hector Wright burst on the scene in the late 1980s, and I believe he is going to create a colossal impact on local football.
It is my hope that after seeing the impact Fletcher created in his debut game against Waterhouse, the other promising young players in western Jamaica will be motivated to strive to be the best they can, and like Fletcher, develop the confidence to step up to the next level and perform.
I would like to encourage the management of MBU to work closely with Fletcher to ensure that he stays grounded and away from the hype, which has engulfed many youngsters in the past and wrecked many promising careers. He must be encouraged to complete school and try to get as many CXC subjects as he can because a good education could also enhance his football career.
Finally, I would like to commend young Fletcher for the humility that seems to be an integral part of his persona. I would want to encourage him to surround himself with the right people, heed good advice, while seeking to create an environment around him that will allow his talent to flourish.