KINGSTON, Jamaica – Portmore United marksman Javon East has nobly put the interest of team over self.
Even as he scored the all-important goal for the Jamaican club champion to defeat Haiti’s Real Hope 1-0 of the opening salvo in the Flow Concacaf Caribbean Club Championship at Stadium East in Kingston on Sunday, the striker keeps a bigger goal in his scope.
His goal in the fourth minute crucially gave Portmore three points and moved it to the top of the standings.
East, 24, noted that topping the tournament and ultimately qualifying directly to the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League is a pre-season objective for Portmore United.
The club attempts to go one better this cycle after coming short last season, failing to realize their Champions League ambitions.
“My goal going into the tournament is the same as the club, which is to win so that we can qualify for the Champions League. It was our plan from day one, and we continue to push towards that plan,” said the diminutive frontman.
“I am happy that I was able to score that goal that gave the team victory, but that is now in the past, and we have to now look to what’s to come,” East added.
Portmore’s next assignment in the four-team playoffs comes against another Haitian opponent in Capoise on Tuesday. Jamaican Premier League runners-up Waterhouse F.C. will face Real Hope.
In their opening match against Capoise, Waterhouse had to settle for a 2-2 draw in the second match of a double-header.
“We now have to prepare for the game tomorrow as we move forward and try to get that three points and finish off the tournament as early as possible,” East said of his team’s next game.
The Jamaica international believes that based on their showing thus far, the Haitian teams are strong opponents and suggested it would be foolhardy to take them for granted.
“They are good teams, but we have just to go out there each time and maintain our discipline,” noted East, who led Portmore with 12 goals last season
Even though Portmore, the back-to-back Premier League champions, has provided a solid foundation to grow, East has his mind set on moving north shortly.
“I am trying my best to get into Europe, or in any good respectable league in the world, and I continue to work hard in achieving that,” he told concacaf.com.
East, who has been a fixture in Reggae Boyz head coach Theodore Whitmore for a year or so, says he will be fighting for a spot in the upcoming Concacaf Gold Cup squad.
“I have to just keep on working and hopefully I will be called up,” he concluded.