Home - The Star
February 26, 2011
Star Sport


Consider Scandinavia

Contributed - Red Stripe's Shakeela Jackson-Thomas in animated discussion with (from left) Damion 'Stew Peas' Stewart, Romel Wallen and Alexei Figeuroa during the Star Ballaz launch.

Andre Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter

Respected football player agent Romel Wallen believes it's time that Jamaican players start to look outside of the traditional English and US leagues for international exposure, and pay more attention to those particularly in the Scandinavian countries.

Wallen, an agent with Pro Goal Sports Management and a former Jamaican youth player, represents several local players who are either based or have been on trial stints in England and Scandinavia.

Ricardo Gardener, Dwayne Miller, Damion Stewart, Dicoy Williams, Navion Boyd, Duwayne Kerr and Howard Wong are just a few of the clients represented by the former Wolmer's High School student, who not only highlighted the lenient work permit requirements in Scandinavian leagues but also the quality of play that exists.

He also pointed to the leagues as a viable means of getting recognition from some of the bigger clubs and leagues across Europe.

"Given the slightly more relaxed work permit requirements; in reality, Norway and Sweden should represent the (English) Premier League for local players," said Wallen during a recent interview with StarSports.

quality Leagues

"They are quality leagues, where scouts from all over Europe actively recruit. For example, if you look at say Demar Philips' club, Aalesund FK, they recently sold their goalkeeper to Manchester United. That proves the Norwegian League is not only viable, but provides a great platform to move even higher up the ranks," Wallen added.

Wallen is currently trying to tie down deals for Portmore United goalkeeper Kerr and former national Under-20 hotshot Wong with Swedish First Division outfit Strommen IF; deals which, he believes can act as further inspiration for local-based players who are looking to broaden their scope and continue their development overseas.

"I would hope that opportunities like that of Wong and Kerr provide inspiration for local players. Although the International transfer market is quite challenging at the moment, Jamaican players will continue to get opportunities, as long as they display consistent quality, professionalism and the drive to become full professionals," said Wallen.

He was, however, quick to advise players to embrace the values of discipline and hard work, elements which, he believes, are not given the level of importance they deserve given their appeal to international scouts.

"I would hope that especially the young local players try not to adapt the bad habits on and off the field, that usually proves so difficult to shake in their latter years," said Wallen.

Bookmark and Share
Home | Gleaner Blogs | Gleaner Online | Go-Jamaica | Go-Local | Feedback | Disclaimer | Advertisement | Privacy Policy | Contact Us