The captain of the formidable Dinthill Technical High School football team, Dayeshaniel Russell, is destined for greatness – and he is ecstatic that his father is among the people still around to cheer him on.

“I am very very proud of my son,” said Gary Russell, a taxi operator who had a brush with death. He recalled that gunmen shot him twice and left him for dead a few years ago while they stole his motor car in Linstead, St. Catherine.

While in hospital in 2019, he wondered whether he would have survived to see his son realize his football dreams, which includes helping Dinthill to win the prestigious DaCosta Cup. At that time, Dinthill ended up being the beaten finalist. Unfortunately, young Russell was injured and didn’t play in some of the crucial matches.

“I am glad I am here now in 2022 to see what is happening,” the father told The Beacon, adding that he has a good rapport with the entire Dinthill squad. He said his son is “very quiet”, but possesses strong leadership qualities.

Dinthill, a two-time DaCosta Cup winner from Linstead in St. Catherine, is now in the semis of that competition and the final of the Champions Cup knockout tournament.

One of the captain’s proudest moments so far this season was when he scored two goals in his team’s 3-0 triumph over Charlemont High at Drax Hall on November 27. That win sent Dinthill into the quarterfinals of the DaCosta Cup in fine style.

Another high point for him is when he was declared captain.

“My coach picked me as the captain because he knows that I am a leader and I can tell others what to do and they follow,” he said, adding that his overall squad is relatively disciplined – and that makes his duties a lot easier.

Asked how he manages those duties along with academics, Russell said: “It is tough, but I have to balance it.”

His peer, Garey Mills, a leading player on the team, spoke highly of him. “He is a good role model for the younger ones in the team,” Mills further said.

Russell, 19, is playing his final DaCosta Cup competition.

He intends to become a professional footballer to, among other things, support his family financially. “My family doesn’t have it much, and so I am doing this so I can help them in certain ways,” he told The Beacon.

The resident of Grove Road in Linstead developed a passion for football at a tender age. “I played a lot of football on the road,” he recalled.

He now plays attacking midfield on the turf and is a big fan of football greats Neymar Júnior of Bazil and Kevin De Bruyne of Belgium.

Russell attended Linstead Primary and Junior High School as well as Enid Bennett High in Bog Walk where he also played football.

He transferred to Dinthill in 2018 and is oozing confidence that his side will this year lift both the DaCosta Cup and the Champions Cup – a mission that is not impossible.

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