Rajan Wright could have walked the easy road and join any of the already established teams in the RumBar/Lluidas Vale Corner League, St Catherine. But he wanted to do something special for his rural community of Pennington, which doesn’t even have a playing field.
Most Pennington young men, in fact, have stopped playing football. They have lost interest partly because of their community’s several failed attempts to lift the big cup in the Lluidas Vale league.
Rajan, 22, recently joined forces with his friends Davion Mills and Andrae Hendricks, as well as his brother Denniston Wright, to put a team together. The persons mentioned, except for Rajan, can’t kick a ball to save their lives. But they helped with recruitment of players and management of the team.
When the competition commenced two months ago, the squad, albeit confident, had no clue it would have created history, becoming the first Pennington team to win the league.
The team’s captain, Rajan, was also named the league’s best goalkeeper, surrendering only three goals. He scored a goal. He saved many goals, including the penalty shown in this video:
“It is a good feeling to know I am the best keeper because it is a goal I am always reaching for,” Rajan told The Beacon, adding: “I enjoy playing in the goal and have a passion for it.”
It is not the first time that he is copping the golden glove award in a football competition. He did it last year in both the Ewarton and Pollyground corner leagues in St Catherine North West.
Rajan, who said he became fascinated with football when he was nine years old, started to take the sport seriously while he attended Ewarton High School, which he represented as goalkeeper in major contests.
He currently plays for TruJuice Football Club in Bog Walk, St Catherine.
Rajan, however, has bigger dreams. He wants to eventually become a professional footballer, playing at the highest level.
“I would like to get into a [National] Premier League side and then try to get a contract overseas – or even get into a college overseas,” he told The Beacon.
Rajan draws inspiration from various sources. He is a big fan of goalkeeper Iker Casillas, who plays for Portuguese club Porto as well as the Spanish national team.
Rajan, in the meantime, hopes that, above all things, his team’s victory in the RumBar/Lluidas Vale Corner League on Sunday (October 28) will rekindle the football fire in the young people of his rural community.
He told The Beacon that persons have been trying for umpteen years to bring the league trophy home to Pennington. His brother Vincent Wright tried unsuccessfully; so too did community stalwart Alvin Newton.
Newton, upon hearing that Pennington won the league, was initially at a loss for words.
“It is overwhelming,” he told The Beacon. “It’s long time in the making that Pennington should reach somewhere like this although I think majority of the players don’t come from there. It’s a long struggle; it has been a long long road,” Newton said while congratulating members of the team.
By Horace Mills, Journalist
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