CONCACAF Q&A: Julian Wade (Dominica)

Julian Wade (pictured) is hoping to help Dominica to the 2016/17 Scotiabank CFU Men's Caribbean Cup finals.

For nearly half his life, Julian Wade has represented Dominica on the football pitch. He has donned the national jersey from the under-13 level all the way to senior squad.

With Dominica advancing to the second round of 2016/17 Scotiabank CFU Men’s Caribbean Cup, Wade – who plays his club football for Guyana’s Slingerz FC -- admitted that the land of his birth isn’t quite done yet showing what it’s capable of achieving.

The 25-year-old standout shared with his deep reservoir of experience.

If Dominica was to reach the 2016/17 Scotiabank CFU Men’s Caribbean Cup finals, what would it mean to the nation?
I believe it would mean a lot to our nation because for the past 10 to 20 years Dominica hasn’t been recognized by its performances. I think that the Caribbean Cup is an ideal ground where people can recognize and see the kind of players that we have because we have a lot of talent.

I believe that the Caribbean Cup stage is an ideal ground for our talent to be shown. It gives the public more hope and belief, so that they can invest more in the football and this would be a positive step for football in Dominica.

Dominica advanced to the second round of the 2016/17 Caribbean Cup after beating the British Virgin Islands and falling to Martinique. How would you assess the team's performances in those games?
For BVI, I feel that we went into the game with a lot more of confidence. In football, history means a lot, and going into the game knowing that the BVI has never beaten us gave us that extra drive to pull off the victory. We have never beaten Martinique, so I think it’s a psychological aspect of the game. I feel that performance wise, we did well in both games.

You netted three goals in the win over the British Virgin Islands. What did it feel like to score that many goals in an international match? 
Well, on the international stage, one goal is joy, so three times that amount is just overwhelming. A hat-trick on any level is big and something to smile about. I owed my country a few goals. After scoring that third goal, I felt like a paid back a debt. I felt a relief. It was a good feeling.

What are Dominica’s strengths as a team?
I believe that what our players have is heart. I feel that at the end of the day you can be 10 times better…more physical and fitter…but what we will give you is 100%. We give 100% and we will give it on the field. Heart is what we have and that’s what pulls us through.

What has been the highlight of your career at the club level?
My highlight has been the 2013/14 CONCACAF Champions League, where I played against Toluca in Mexico. It doesn’t get better than that.

You scored for Caledonia AIA in that game against Toluca. What do you remember about that goal?
What I remember about that goal is that coming to the pitch, I knew that I would get a chance. It was also déjà vu. It was just a matter of when that chance would come. It was just a matter of playing. It was kind of nerve wrecking, though, knowing that it would come and the atmosphere. Would I be ready for it? I just knew, whether it would be a clear cut chance or half a chance, I had to hit the target and pray that I converted. I spent a lot of time on my knees before that game. I remembered the ball coming across from the left side from Aubrey David…half a second, I saw the defender miss…and that was it.

What motivates you as a player each day?
I believe it comes down to my real passion for the sport. I don’t think that there is anything else at this point in my life that I’d rather be doing now as it relates to pure joy, pure passion and pure commitment. That’s where my heart is, that makes it natural; that makes it normal for me to come out and perform, work and motivate myself. I think it comes down to my love for the game.

When not playing football, what are some of the things you enjoy doing?
I enjoy playing the keyboard, the piano. I enjoy spending time with family and friends. Those are two of the things closest to me as it relates to leisure time.

What are your future goals in football?
I intend to reach to the highest possible level. I actually have an eye for Europe and I hope that not too long from now I should be table to break into the European market. Otherwise, after football, I’m hoping to have an agency, whereby I can help players live that dream because I know that for myself. It was difficult not having somebody to guide me and point me in the right direction to get that full experience. I would like to have an academy as well, so that I could give back to the game. At the end of the day that’s where my heart is. I’ll always give as much as I can while I can, so that’s what I intend to do.