Barbados’ Number One, Kishmar Primus wants to start his professional football career in the much anticipated Caribbean Premier League, and despite recent challenges he remains dedicated to his cause.
Pop Pop, as he is fondly referred to, took over from Barbados Football Association’s former number one goalkeeper Jason “Barbers” Boxhill who took over from Dario Weir after he left the national scene.
“It is a matter of being focused and not becoming complacent, knowing that I came from number three now to number one. I have to always be consistent with my game,” he said, adding that he now had the likes of Liam Brathwaite and Weir who recently rejoined the team to contend with.
But the 22-year-old wasn’t always a goalkeeper. In fact, he said he just happened upon the position.
“I used to strike, but during youth football, it happened the goalkeeper’s hand was broken and I decided to step up. From there, I picked up goalkeeping and made it my favorite,” he said.
He originally got into football after watching his father play from a young age, and started playing in his community of Eden Lodge, St Michael, before kicking off his career at Eden Stars. From there, he headed to the University of the West Indies Blackbirds and had settled at the Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme for the last four years.
“Community football to Premier League was a big improvement for me. Compared to instruction and the way how other teams operate, it is more organized,” he explained.
Pop also played at the youth national level and received his call up to the senior team at age 15.
“Football throughout the years has been exciting. I was expecting a lot more this year, but COVID happened so . . .” he shrugged.
COVID-19 caused a major upset for Pop and his teammates, but he was confident they would get back on track to their road to the Qualifiers of the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup.
“COVID mash up the rhythm of the team. Everybody was in great spirits and you could actually see in training where the team was heading. We were playing different and treating each other better and just like that COVID came and crashed everything,” he said.
The Manchester United fan said not kicking a ball for three months was hard, but he had managed to keep physically fit by playing a lot of road tennis along with following Head Coach Russell Latapy’s training regime.
“It keeps my legs moving and my reaction time up. I still do my situps and pushups and keep active a lot,” he said.
The German Manuel Neuer fan is also the father of a 14-month-old son, but he has found a way to balance national duty, work duty and overseas tours, especially with his support system who were with him every step of the way.
“It works out pretty good because my son’s mother understands what I have to do. If I have to play she puts certain things in place. When I have to travel, my mom and stepfather will help out a lot, along with my grandmother and aunt,” he said.
But Pop, who has racked up 16 national caps admitted there were a lot of things that could change on and off the field, but they had to bear with what they had and make the most of it while striving to become better.
“Playing under Russell is an unbelievable feeling and very amazing. I’ve learnt a lot and I really enjoy playing under Latapy. It is amazing how a whole different person came in and change everybody’s attitude towards the game. He has the team going in the right direction which is a big step.
“My game has gotten a lot better under his coaching. I understand my role a lot more. I knew about the goals, but I never really studied it. Improving happens by learning day in and day out and that is what I get with Latapy,” he said.