Shaw stoked by Canadian opportunity


Shaw stoked by Canadian opportunity

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

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Just about every young Jamaican footballer who has hopes of playing the game professionally dreams of landing a professional contract that will see them playing in the biggest arenas across the globe.

There is a reality, however, that getting to that stage usually requires a sequence of other contracts in smaller leagues, to begin with.

Tevin Shaw is one such Jamaican player who is set to embark on that journey.

On March 26, it was announced that the Portmore United player had become the third local player to be signed to the relatively new Canadian Premier League.

He will join Atletico Ottawa on a one-year deal as soon as the global pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is resolved.

“The hard work is playing off. It is progress and a step in the right direction. It’s better to creep before you walk; you’ll gradually get there,” he said of the signing of his first professional contract outside of Jamaica.

Shaw has big plans for his international club career and will be keen to spark from day one.

“My aim is to make a bigger move to Europe, so I will have to perform to my utmost best every time to achieve that,” he stated.

Alex Marshall and Nicholas Hamilton of Cavalier Football Club were the first two Jamaicans to join the Canadian league and Shaw believes that even more local players are likely to get drafted to the new league.

“It shows how good our players are and the potential we have as young players. It’s going to shine some light on Jamaican young players, and we also have to keep opening doors for others.”

Shaw captained a very talented Camperdown High School Manning Cup team that severely tested Jamaica College in a classic semi-final game at Stadium East field in 2014, and since the ending his high school career in 2015 he has paid his dues in the Red Stripe Premier League.

He was first a member of the Boys’ Town Football Club team where he played youth football as well, before transferring to rivals Tivoli Gardens Football Club in 2016, where his outstanding performances in central midfield saw him being drafted into the Jamaica Olympic Football team as well as the Senior Reggae Boyz team.

The 25-year-old joined Red Stripe Premier League champions Portmore United at the start of the 2019-2020 season before being picked up by Atletico Ottawa last week. He says he is coping well with the delay caused by COVID-19.

“I’m coping well. Just getting ready while here, doing personal training and stuff, even though I can’t wait to get settled.”

But even while he pursues his football dream, Shaw is having to make a huge sacrifice as he leaves two young sons behind. His older son Zavian is four years old, while his younger son, Giovanni, is only six months old.

“It’s a big sacrifice that I have to make (but) at the end of the day, they will both benefit. It’s a tough decision but I had to make it,” he revealed.

Shaw has six senior Reggae Boyz caps and will be hoping to see that number increase through inspired performances in Canada.

— Dwayne Richards

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