Like many before him, Shaine Hermas was a cricketer prior to becoming a footballer. But switching to football has worked in his favor, and he has travelled as far as Brazil to showcase his talent.
“When I got in first form at St Leonard’s Boys’ I started playing football. I started training and about two years later I started training with Dexter’s Brazilian Football Association and went to Brazil when I was 14,” he said.
He explained a Brazilian coach visited the island and handpicked six players; five from the Under-19 division with him as the lone Under-14 player, which he described as “the experience of a lifetime”.
“When I came back I was hoping to make the Under-20 national side, but I didn’t get called up. I played second division with Central League Spartans until I went across to Ellerton and now I play in the Premier League,” he said.
Having his first experience in a tournament like last year’s inaugural Capelli SuperCup, Hermas said it was the first of many.
“I went to the finals and lost, so I can’t say it was great, but it was my first time in a tournament like that and the experience was good,” he said.
The midfielder, who celebrates his 24th birthday today, said throughout the years he had gotten a few comments which were difficult to process at times.
“There are people who say I am better than other people, I shouldn’t be here and should be in England and not be playing in Barbados. But to keep up with that standard, with people talking like that, is very difficult sometimes. It’s not every day you would have a good game. There are some games you would be off, but I have that confidence in me, and I try my best to keep up there and show the people I will make,” he admitted.
But the Barcelona fan said he believed with his ability and the demands that came along with it, he should have made the senior squad a long time ago, and was ecstatic when he finally got the call up earlier this year.
“I waited patiently until I got the call, but COVID-19 came into play. That has been a major setback, but I feel it happened for a reason. I am still keeping faith and I believe that I would make it to the next game the side plays.
“The guys on the national team are very excellent. They give me the motivation to be in top form all the time. You have to be on your A-game all the time and can’t lapse or nothing, and that in itself is a motivation for me,” he said.
He added he had watched fellow teammates Rashad Jules, Omani Leacock and Raheim Sargeant who were all ahead of him at St Leonard’s Boys, and said like Leacock and Sargeant he was a creator and they all played similarly.
“I could play any other position; right back, left back, front stopper, striker, but I prefer the middle position – the engine section where we create things. I am a creator and I like to build up plays,” he said proudly.
And Hermas said he was happy that training had resumed.
“In between, I’ve been scrimmaging, but haven’t really been playing per se. I’ve also been running and trying to maintain my fitness. It was tough doing it by myself, but I had to keep that discipline,” he said.
However, the Lionel Messi fan said he never took football as a dream but rather was prepared to go as far as the sport took him.
“I’m not saying I don’t want to be a professional player or don’t think I am to that standard. People tend to say when you’re in Barbados you don’t get nowhere, but I’m saying from my heart, wherever it carries me, if it carries me there, I would go forward with it,” he declared.
And he firmly believed local football was going through a major change with the help of Head Coach Russell Latapy, which he noted was definitely for the better.
“More players are going overseas and showing their potential and the scouts are coming here. I personally feel that some of us from the national team can make it further if we really push for it. Coach Latapy is an amazing coach. He is a man that does be down behind you; have you on your Ps and Qs. He doesn’t be too hard on you but carries you upright to go forward and put you in a better position. I haven’t been coached by him long, but the little coaching he’s given me and the talks we have, there is a meaning behind it,” he said matter-of-factly.