When he played his first match this season in the Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association DaCosta Cup competition, many onlookers were talking about his superb display of confidence and talent.
The season has almost ended and Jaheim Thomas of Dinthill Technical High School in Linstead, St. Catherine, has continued to live up to expectations, notwithstanding a knee injury that forced him to sit out some matches.
Upon his post-injury return, he scored an incredible goal in the DaCosta Cup competition on December 17 to give his squad a 1-0 win over Edwin Allen High School.
His performance peaked yesterday when he netted three of the five goals, which Dinthill Technical scored against St Andrew Technical High School (STATHS) in the ISSA Champions Cup knockout competition. STATHS scored one.
After witnessing the hat-trick, Dinthill’s coach, Oniel Thomas, told the press: “He (Jaheim Thomas) has been knocking at the door with one and two goals. It’s good to see him score three. He ran into some injury problems earlier in the season, so we had to take time to ease him back in. He is a good player and, as the competition progresses, I expect him to get better.”
Jaheim, who said he is 18 and hails from Parade Gardens in Kingston, is a past student of Holy Family Primary in the capital city. He subsequently attended MRC Football Academy.
A lover of Science subjects, he wants to become a doctor or a professional footballer.
Surely he could have pursued academics at institutions closer to home. But it was his penchant for national schoolboy football that drove him several miles away to Dinthill Technical, a two-time winner of the DaCosta Cup competition. When the competition was last held in 2019, Dinthill also was the beaten finalist.
“It’s a great experience to know it is my first time playing DaCosta Cup,” he told The Beacon while sitting in the stands at Drax Hall during his period of injury.
Jaheim, one of the shortest players in terms of stature, appeared quite calm and unassuming.
When asked to state the stage at which he developed a passion for football, he quipped: “From mi inna mi mada belly.”
Laughing, he continued: “Football is just a tradition coming down from my father, my older brother (Waldamar Thomas) who played the Manning Cup, and coming down to me.”
His talent and demeanor have been winning him a lot of fans.
Some call him ‘National’, reflecting their hope that he will one day make the national team.
“The people dem love mi,” Jaheim said.
Some of them refer to him as the young version of Andrés Iniesta, a Spanish footballer often touted as one of the greatest midfielders of all time.
“People seh mi and him (Iniesta) play the same – his dribbling, his passing and his vision towards football,” said Jaheim, himself a midfielder.
He oozed optimism that his talent will contribute further towards Dinthill’s progress this season.
“I feel that we can win DaCosta Cup with the quality of our team; we have some good quality players here,” he told The Beacon.
Dinthill are now in the semi-finals of the DaCosta Cup. In addition, they stormed into the semi-finals of the Champions Cup yesterday.
Jaheim, in the meantime, advised young footballers to never give up on their dreams.
“No matter how small or big you are, just never give up. Push forward and aim for your goal,” he said.
By Horace Mills, Managing Editor
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