Guyana U17 star Jeremy Garrett (green jersey) is pursuing his dream of becoming a professional footballer in Europe.
GEORGETOWN, Guyana -- Guyana under-17 captain Jeremy Garrett is a mercurial talent on the rise in the region.
The Georgetown-born midfielder recently spent a month training with Portugal’s Sporting Lisbon, where he impressed and was offered an opportunity to return in the summer for another visit.
Since Garrett is only 16-year-old, he cannot yet secure a permanent deal, but he is grateful for the unique experience.
“I am humbled and honored to have this opportunity presented to me again,” Garrett told CONCACAF.com. “Of course, the number one aim is to get a contract with this club, but also to open the door for other Guyanese and Caribbean footballers. I feel the youth of Guyana and the Caribbean don’t get these opportunities often, so my performance can help others to follow behind me and get more players into professional football. Portugal was a wonderful experience that I will never forget.”
Garrett competed earlier in the year in Caribbean under-17 qualifying in the US Virgin Islands, where Guyana finished third in its group behind first-place Jamaica and Antigua & Barbuda, respectively.
He hopes that his efforts provide a platform for football to gain greater recognition in the nation situated at the northern tip of South America.
“When people think Guyana, the first thing that comes to their mind is cricket,” expressed Garrett. “Football is big as well in Guyana and little things like me getting an opportunity abroad can be that step in the right direction to get football to be the number one sport in our country.
“I feel I am mentally prepared and I am confident I will do my best when I go back (to Portugal). Whether or not I get a contract, I will never give up pursuing my dream to become a professional footballer.”
If he eventually lands a deal, Garrett would be the second Guyanese-born player to sign in Portugal. The first was his current agent and former Canada international Alex Bunbury, who played for Maritimo from 1993-99.