Ardenne's Priestly staying focused
By PAUL-ANDRE WALKER, Staff Reporter www.jamaica-star.com
Ardenne's Akeem Priestly at Oberndorf 2003
ARDENNE'S AKEEM PRIESTLY is a most promising young footballer.
He started playing in the streets of Harbour View before going
on to represent Preparatory. He played in all the age divisions
for Harbour View from Under-12 to 20.
Priestly has so far played three Manning Cups, one at Wolmer's
and his last two at Ardenne. At the end of the last schoolboy season
he played in the Wray and Nephew National Premier League and scored
He has added national caps to his already impressive resume, making
both the National Under-17 and 20 teams.
"It feels good to represent my country and I hope to do so
again, not just at the junior level but at the senior level as well,"
he told STAR Sports.
At 18, Akeem is the unofficial leader of the Ardenne team. He is
an upper sixth form student and takes school seriously, despite
wanting a proffessional carreer in football.
Supporting his family
His only goal in life is to be able to support his family.
"I only want to support my family and if it is football that
allows me to do that then so be it," said the frank youngster.
When asked about the difference between playing for Ardenne and
Wolmer's, he said at Wolmer's there were many good players so he
wasn't under a lot of pressure.
"At Ardenne, however, there is more responsibility placed
on me because I'm the main player."
Akeem says he has learnt to remain focused and separate business
(football) from pleasure (girls) and wants other players in Jamaica
to learn the same lesson.
"The attitudes of Jamaican players are wrong. Jamaica's football
has a problem with financing but the biggest problem is the attitude
of the players towards football. They don't take it seriously enough,"
At the end of the Manning Cup season Akeem would like to play for
Harbour View in the Premier League and hopefully make an impression.
He said it will be tough to fit into a team in the middle of the
season but he's not afraid of hard work. So far, Akeem has scored
seven times in nine matches for Ardenne.
If he continues in this fashion, we might have another national
star in the making.