At 22, Kemar Lawrence yearns for pro contract

September 17, 2014 2:00 AM

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But the "perfect" gift the Jamaica international would have wanted to celebrate this day has not arrived. Still, his patience holds.

The electrifying Harbour View leftback is disappointed that he is yet to land a professional overseas contract, even as he has "done most things right".

Truth be told, frustration has set in but he fights back with hard work and unwavering focus on the bigger picture.

Lawrence, a former national youth player who naturally progressed to the senior ranks, may have had the summer transfer window close on him without a deal, but tells the Jamaica Observer that he trusts God to deliver.

"Yes, I am frustrated, but still humble and grounded and I have to just keep that in mind... it gets to you at times when you think about it, especially when you think you are doing everything right and everybody is saying you are doing everything right, and then you ask yourself this question, 'where do I go from here and why haven't I got a contract yet?'" the 5ft 10in winger said.

"But you have to just keep working hard, keep pushing forward and hopefully someone will see you, and when God is looking out for you, you know it's just a matter of time before you make that breakthrough," said Lawrence at a reception held in honour of the Reggae Boyz at the residence of Japanese Ambassador Yasuo Takase in St Andrew on Monday evening.

Lawrence, popularly known as 'Taxi', says his success and growth as a player can only truly be measured when he has cemented a place in the Reggae Boyz set-up and has successfully nailed down a professional contract with a respectable club somewhere in Europe.

"I am not 100 per cent satisfied as I know I can do more. I am still trying to leave Jamaica and the day when I leave Jamaica on a professional contract is the day I will really be satisfied with myself as a senior national team player. I still have more to do, I still think I can improve my thinking, I still think I can help the team in many areas and help the team to get wins," he said.

The Reggae Boyz face Japan in a friendly international in Niigata, Japan, on October 10, and already Lawrence is looking ahead to that mouthwatering encounter -- an ideal stage for him to yet again perform for scouts on the hunt for new talent.

"If the coach calls me I will definitely try my best to be ready... my feeling is that we will have more players from Europe going to Japan, so I think we may have a stronger squad, and I think it will be a tough game down there and we should be going for the victory," said Lawrence, the Pepsi Jamaica ambassador.

And the Boyz are indeed hungry for a victory after coming off a string of losses in a series of friendlies, the most recent being a 1-3 defeat to Canada in Toronto last week.

Lawrence, who has been a regular sight on that left-side in the most recent matches, was a scorer for Jamaica in that game. When asked, he said he would be happy to exchange that goal for a victory for the team that is in high preparation mode for the upcoming Caribbean Cup to be staged in Montego Bay November 10-18.

"It was really a tough loss as we really wanted the victory to show people the kind of work we have been putting in... when I scored the first goal it gave the team a kind of a momentum, but it didn't last for long. Some people asked me if I would give up the goal, and I told them I would give it up any day for a victory instead," he noted.

Lawrence, a two-time national champion with Harbour View FC, said he surprised himself in Canada as he was just recovering from injury.

"In that game I was surprised as I was not playing any ball as I was nursing a groin injury for two months. It was unbelievable the way I played; I didn't even know that I could last for 90 minutes, but I did.

"I know I can do better, but that will depend on my fitness, as when I am fit I am a smarter player. Now I think I am almost at my peak with my fitness, but I still have some work to do to get fully sharp," said the fleet of foot player.


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