By Franklin Wilson
He has come from very humble beginnings but has transformed himself into one of the leading strikers with Guyana’s flagship football team, the ‘Golden Jaguars’.
His name is Gregory Richardson familiarly known in the football arena as ‘Jackie Chan’. A member of the Pele Football Club on the local scene, Richardson has upped his game to another level as a potent member of the Trinidad and Tobago Pro League side, Joe Public.
He has created such an impact on the Pro League scene that his name has become the talk of many defenders at the other clubs. His exploits have also been recognized by the Pro League Board and they have named him the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the FA Trophy, for 2007. He was presented with a beautiful trophy and TT$2000 at a recent presentation ceremony.
Richardson has come through the ranks and has always been an outstanding player irregardless of the level he’s playing at.
Before moving on to Trinidad and Tobago, Richardson was a member of the Notradame Football Club of Barbados. Ever since his arrival in the Twin Island Republic, like many of his other countrymen and National Captain, Charles ‘Lilly’ Pollard, he has been doing very well.
Speaking with Kaieteur Sport, Richardson said he is very happy with the form he has struck in Trinidad where many people do not believe that such a talented player hails from the Land of Many Waters, Guyana.
Like his captain, who has captured many MVP awards, Richardson said he is very proud and to get such recognition. “You have to really show your talent to win such an award in Trinidad.
It’s lots of hard work and I just did what I had to do to show that I am a good player. I just need the chance to go further now to prove that I can play in any part of the world.”
Richardson disclosed that this season might be his last in the Twin Island Republic as he setting his sights for a contract in Europe. He has attributed his success to hard work and most of all discipline which he said is the key.
“Hard training and good coaching has also contributed to my success as a player and helped me to rise to this level. I am now more confident in myself and learnt a lot of things I did not know before about the game.”
Questioned on his the reason for him being dropped from the National team, Richardson said that it was just bad behaviour and indiscipline on his part and the coach just acted accordingly.
“It was my mistake that was responsible for me being axed, it was my fault and I must apologise to the Guyana Football Federation and especially the fans for being disappointing and being dropped.”
He has made a call for much more junior football to be played in Guyana and has complimented the Georgetown Football Association for leading the charge in this regard.
“We need like soccer schools to help the youths. We need coaches to help these youths like every Saturday so that they can develop and get accustomed to the game and its techniques. This is the only way they will develop since you can’t wait until they get big to teach them.”
Richardson mentioned his experiences in Trinidad where there is a huge emphasis on junior development and that’s perhaps the reason why there football is just above us noting that they are not far ahead of us.
So for the moment, Richardson said he is focused along with his teammates on helping Guyana to qualify for the World Cup Finals with their immediate goal being to achieve a big win against Suriname on Sunday in their return 2nd round tie at the Guyana National Stadium at Providence.
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