'I am disappointed!'

Sports

'I am disappointed!'

Daley rues missing out on conference final; happy with overall season

BY SEAN A WILLIAMS
Deputy Sport Editor

Sunday, October 25, 2020

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Nicque “Powa” Daley admits that he was letdown that his team Charleston Battery fell short in their quest to be champions of the United Soccer League (USL) Championship Eastern Conference.

The Jamaican may not have a trophy to hoist this time around, but says he is pleased with the performance in his second season with the South Carolina franchise.

Daley's Charlestown were defeated 1-0 by Tampa Bay Rowdies in the semi-finals last weekend. The Florida team was due to face Louisville City FC —the team of Daley's countryman Devon “Speedy” Williams — in yesterday's final.

“I was disappointed because that was the closest I have been to a trophy in my professional career, but I still have time to win trophies,” Daley told the Jamaica Observer.

The former Cavalier SC striker says he is proud to be a part of the Charleston family as the players “pulled together as a unit” throughout a “difficult” season, hampered by the coronavirus pandemic.

“When you look that we have the pandemic and we stayed as a unit and fought as one. I think if we can keep this team together maybe next season we can keep things going [and win a trophy],” said the native of downtown, Kingston.

Daley, who has snatched six goals for his club this season, says expectation from him was high and he was under pressure to deliver his team in the crucial semi-final showdown.

“I went into the game with a firm mindset being one of the top goal-scorers, but I think the team came out a bit flat-footed, and I think the other team had their eyes on the attacking players and I didn't get a chance to score, but overall it was just not a good day in the office.

“I got a few opportunities and I would say the shooting boots were on, but as I said, the team was a bit off on the night…we did a get a few chances, but just didn't capitalise,” said Daley.

The game, he notes, “was very competitive”, a contest between foes who are very familiar with each other in terms of playing styles and tactics.

“We met five times in one season, so we know how each other play — they would know what game plan we are coming with and we would know what game plan they are coming with.

“Still, I think they were the better team on the night in terms of possession, and plus they got the fan support, so I think they had more things in their favour. At the same time, we are not trying to find excuses because we have been there earlier in the season and have got points from them,” Daley said.

The 19-year-old, who is in his second season with Charleston, says getting goals for his club, including a brace, was a boost to his confidence.

“I think it is a big achievement for me in my second season and scoring six goals and scoring my first professional brace, and I think those things serve to motivate me for anything that comes my way next season or in the future, but I just have to keep working,” reasoned Daley.

The former Clarendon College star, who was back-to-back daCosta Cup Golden Boot winner, says the past season with all its challenges has helped to shape him into a stronger personality and player.

“It was a great season for me overall, but more than that, it was a rough year overall as everyone could see with the whole pandemic.

“It was really difficult being here and have to be doing club work using Zoom and be following protocols until we heard that the season will actually get on the way. But still I think it was my best season as I got to showcase my talent, but I cannot settle for that as I have to keep working and keep growing,” Daley shared.

With the season winding down, the former Junior Reggae Boy is itching to return home to his family and friends for a well-deserved period of rest and relaxation

“Team wise I should be here until November 1st, but I really want to go home and get to see my loved ones, friends and other people in my life. So, I will just have to try and enjoy myself until it's time to get back to work,” Daley said from his base in South Carolina.

While he is eager to reunite with his loved ones, Daley is anxious to sink his teeth into his favourite Jamaican dish, which no one prepares better than his mother Myrlin Elaine Roberts, who once operated cookshop on Orange Street

“I would request some stewed peas and white rice as that is my favourite meal, and after that, I would go back to eating right and healthy,” he said.

Daley says he plans to keep up his fitness by training with his old club Cavalier and hitting the gym as often as possible.

“I think I will be training with Cavalier to keep myself fit so I can come back as sharp as possible. I will go to the gym some days and go on couple of Zoom sessions with my club and stay grounded,” he stated.


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