‘Rammie’, a self-style Jorge Campos
Former Jamaica Premier League (JPL) shot-stopper Julian McLeish, a two-time champion, having won back-to-back titles with Arnett Gardens in 2000 and 2001, believes he was drawn into becoming a goalkeeper after watching former Mexican great Jorge Campos.
McLeish stated he copied Campos' acrobatic style and his trademark baggy short sleeve jersey.
"Jorge Campos, a the boss that. Matter of fact, when I was small and watching Campos, I used to say to myself that 'him short eeh', and I'm short too. So, I said that I wanted to be like him, and that's why I started to goal keep in short sleeves and shorts because I just wanted to be like Campos. He was my idol goalkeeper," he stated.
McLeish, who hails from Kingston Gardens, revealed that during his younger days, the goalkeeping position became his preferred choice, because he felt safer there, based on what he saw his neighbour and friend going through on the football pitch.
"I grew up having two next-door neighbours, one who played cricket and the other who played football. Every time I watched the one who played football, I wanted to play like him.
"When I started to play during the evenings, I realised that he was getting a lot of kicks. I said, 'no, better me try out for the goal,' because the goalkeeper gets fewer kicks, so I tried the goal, and it worked out," he uttered.
As for the players that gave him the most trouble throughout his illustrious JPL career, McLeish said that Jermaine Hue and Roland Dean were two that stood out the most for him, as both players had similar characteristics, in which a goalkeeper's lapse in concentration could be costly.
"For me, it was Harbour View's Jermaine Hue and Tivoli's Roland Dean. With Hue, you had to be switched on 24/7 because, at any time, you had to be ready to make a save because he always came with his 'A' game.
"Roland Dean is the same thing. He had some quick turns that you, as the goalkeeper, had to be ready because if you lapse, he'll score. I always had a good game against Tivoli because of Roland Dean, as I always had to be atop my game," McLeish stated.