Ramon Griffith was pegged for greatness this year beginning with making his debut for the Barbados Football Association’s (BFA) elite team, but COVID-19 has momentarily halted his run. However, he remains undaunted and believes his opportunities will happen at the right time as they have been.
The center defensive midfielder was introduced to the sport by his father and uncle and has played across the BFA’s Divisions 3, 2 and 1, even securing the title for best midfielder back-to-back while at Road View United, before he was called up to the Under-23 team and then the senior men’s national team.
“Football has been progressive for me and every year I would say I have gotten better and better. At the time I was training with the Under-23 team, I transferred to Paradise, but in that same transfer window I went back to Road View to help out the club for the last time and never played for Paradise,” he recalled.
He got his first taste of the Premier League while at Youth Milan, unfortunately, the team was relegated at the end of the last football season, but he has since joined the ranks of the University of the West Indies Blackbirds.
But lady luck favored him during last year’s inaugural Capelli SuperCup and he was called up along with then teammate Romario Drakes.
“It was the best feeling ever to be called upon. I felt it was the right time and it was one of the best feelings for me. All the people who supported me were happy for me too, so it was good,” he said.
The Manchester United fan said he had not played officially with the team as yet, he was present for the last Concacaf Nations League game against the Cayman Islands when the Bajan Tridents were promoted to League B.
“It was a great experience to be able to see a game at that level and the players and getting to interact with them after the game was different, and I can’t even tell you how I felt,” he said smiling brightly.
And while he was looking forward to the team’s first game in the Qualifiers for the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup, the global pandemic halted play.
“It was a pause in everything so it was a little difficult especially with football. After a time we couldn’t play, and there wasn’t any training so it was hard. Now that training is about to start back I am happy and I can’t wait to get back out,” he said.
Griffith, who is also a fan of former Real Madrid attacking midfielder Zinedine Zidane, said training with Head Coach Russell Latapy had been the best training sessions he had experienced throughout his football career.
“Russell learnt a lot and you can see how he teaches us what he knows. He has helped us a lot and improved the quality of football in Barbados, especially in the Premier League. I would say being coached by Russell is a pleasure,” he said.
And although the 26-year-old said at his age people often said chances of becoming a professional footballer were slim, he had not given up just yet.
“If the opportunity comes sure, but right now I would see how far it gets me and we would go from there. I see life as opportunities and everybody opportunities come at different times. If I had more before I would probably be there already, but everybody opportunities come when they are ready for it,” he said matter-of-factly.
However, before he moved on, the center midfielder said he would like to see the passion for the game increase, both on the parts of the players and the fans.
“Some players throw all they have into the game, not all. Playing on the national team and the experience playing in all the divisions already, players tend to complain that football don’t get you nowhere. Some players that can play really well end up with that same mentality and lose their passion.
“Most of the fans do have passion, but everybody wants to be a winner. Football is an up and down and there are some teams that struggle, which is natural. But then there are some fans who go against the players and don’t support them when they should be there to support the players,” he explained.
And Griffith had some advice for all across the board: “If you like something or you love something, just do it and it will work out. As for the fans, I think they should be there for their team regardless of what happens with their team. Once you enjoy doing something, I believe you should just do it and everything will work out for the best.”