Waterhouse’s left full back Ricardo ‘Indian’ Thomas was full of praise for his coach Donovan Duckie, after a first call-up to the national senior team training camp which starts today at the UWI/JFF/Captain Burrell Centre of Excellence.
Thomas was named in a 22-man local squad for the training camp in preparation for an international friendly game against Antigua and Barbuda at Sabina Park in Kingston on Sunday, March 25, starting at 5 p.m.
The 20-year-old, who is in his second season in the Red Stripe Premier League, recounted that he was surprised on hearing the news a week ago.
“My teammates and coach, we have a WhatsApp group and I saw it there, and was a bit surprised. I saw it last week Monday,” Thomas told STAR Sports.
“Since coach (Donovan Duckie) came back to Waterhouse last November, he showed belief in my ability to play the game. He motivates me a lot. Even before the national call-up, he always said that my ball game is not for Jamaica, but abroad. He likes my speed, how I tackle and my reading of the ball game,” Thomas shared.
After crossing the Washington Boulevard from Maverley/Hughenden, where he made his debut in the nation’s top flight last season, Thomas went to Waterhouse hoping for better things.
“The experience I got playing for Maverley/Hughenden in my first Premier League season was great. It did a lot for me. I moved on to Waterhouse to do better,” he said.
Although small in size, Thomas is highly motivated by former national defenders Demar ‘Peel Head’ Phillips and Ricardo ‘Bibi’ Gardner, as both players played in similar position and went on to outstanding careers as professionals.
“My plan is to stay focussed and work hard as it is a training camp. They (Phillips and Gardner) motivate me a lot because football is not about size, but guts and desire to be a man out there,” Thomas pointed out.
“I know that other people are watching the Premier League because it is shown in other countries. I will continue the hard work and hope it pays off. I am playing well for the club and now getting selected for the training camp and this could lead to a contract overseas,” he said.
“I am really looking forward to the camp. I know that my teammates Shawn Lawes and Cardel Benbow will be there to help me along,” he concluded.