Junior Flemmings (pictured) has represented Jamaica internationally at the youth level and is working towards earning a spot on the New York Red Bulls' MLS roster. (Photo: Mexsport)
Junior Flemmings is a talented attacker, who has represented Jamaica at the under-17, under-20 and under-23 levels. The 21-year-old scored seven goals in 23 games last year for New York Red Bulls II, before suffering left medial meniscus injury that ended his season. In 2017, he has netted once in six appearances. Flemmings spoke to CONCACAF.com about his footballing ambitions.
How old were you when you first started to play football?
I started playing football at age 11. That’s when I knew this was what I wanted to do with my life.
How key was Jamaica College and Tivoli Gardens FC in your development as a footballer in Jamaica?
Jamaica College and Tivoli Gardens both played an integral part in my youth development. It’s more than development for me because of the work they both put in to ensure self-actualization took place in my youth development.
You were 14 years old when you first played for the Jamaica under-17 national team. What was that moment like for you?
Playing for the U-17 national team at age 14 was a big accomplishment for me. It was big because I was the youngest player in the squad at that time and I never lost hope of making the team, which I did and I played in two of the games in the CONCACAF U-17 Championship in 2011 in Montego Bay. It was surely a memorable one especially because it was my first time wearing the national colors. Being recognized at such a young age to play for your country, I would consider myself very privileged and I am grateful.
Growing up, who were you favorite players?
My favourite football player is Lionel Messi but I also idolize Thierry henry.
Which club do you support?
My favorite club team is FC Barcelona.
You scored 10 goals in 25 games for Tivoli Gardens during the 2015/16 season and received the Young Player of the Season Award. How did you feel about recognized in such a way?
It felt great to be awarded the young player of year trophy, but I know I have put in a lot of work because my ultimate dream was to play overseas in one of the top clubs. As such, I used the Red Stripe Premier League as a motivation to move a step closer towards my dream, which is on the verge of becoming reality in years to come. It opened the door for me to move to the United States and play with an MLS team.
You picked up an injury with the New York Red Bulls II and was out of action for a number of months. How did you feel at that point?
It was a tough pill to swallow. I worked extremely hard for a pro deal in the United States and upon receiving it I got an injury. Now that time has passed, I can say that I know what patience feels like. I now know moving forward that I can be patient and that everything will fall into place in time.
What are your goals for 2017?
My ultimate goal for 2017 is to do whatever it takes to be on the MLS roster of New York Red Bulls in the first team and then take it from there.
What advice you have for young people who want to play football professionally?
I have a phrase that I live by and I will be more than welcome to share it with them … Put God First In Everything You Do…Ambition plus Attitude plus Ability equals success. It’s there for us. It’s just work and more work because there’s a lot of competition in the professional environment. Once you have the right mentally, and you believe, then you will surely be on the verge of fulfilling your dream.
What do you do for fun outside of football?
I listen to music and watch football videos on YouTube during my spare time.