Bradford adjusting to 'big man football'
Camperdown High School Manning Cup star, Shaquille Bradford said that he will continue to remain focused and will not let his rise to the Red Stripe Premier League faze him.
After a reasonable season in schoolboy football, the 17 year-old was pushed into the Premier League and made his debut for hometown club, Boys' Town as a substitute against Tivoli Gardens on December 13.
On December 21, Boys' Town head coach Andrew Price handed the teenage midfielder a first start against Reno, and it paid off as Bradford scored and had an assist in the 2-1 win for a man-of-the-match performance.
He was again trusted to start last Thursday against defending champions Arnett Gardens in the Trench Town derby, and although he did not get on the score sheet in the 1-1 draw at Barbican, Bradford again showed potential.
"This is my second start in four games in the Premier League. I feel great about playing in the league as I am coming from the Manning Cup. My school, Camperdown, did not finish far in the Manning Cup. But, I am now in the top league and gaining experience," Bradford told Star Sports last Thursday.
"In the Premier League, the players are stronger and I continue to learn. I am adjusting to big man football," he said about his transition to top flight football.
"I am not surprised that coach (Price) gave me a chance to play my first game against Tivoli and now I have played four times with two starts. He gave 'Boza' (Shamar Nicholson), my brother (Akeem Bradford) and other players chance to play at a young age," he said about his break in the Premier League.
"I will continue to work hard and improve my game as the aim is to play professionally overseas. I will remain focused and won't let the fans get to me as I know better," Bradford shared.
"My brother is on scholarship at Cincinnati State in the USA and we communicate on a regular basis. After scoring against Reno, I called my brother but he did not believe that I actually scored in my first game in the Premier League," the younger Bradford said.
Coach Price described Bradford as one for the future.
"He is a good young player who came into the team at the right time. He is showing that he wants to play. And, if he continues with that desire, he will continue to play as age is just a number," Price said.
Boys' Town is in last position on 11 points in the 12-team league. However, they picked up four points in the last two games to show improvement.