Cat luck ain’t dog luck, and Keymar Holligan has learnt that the hard way in some ways. But it has not caused him to throw in the towel, and the center back still has his eyes set on making the big leagues.
“When I first started playing football I would always dream to go and play for Barcelona or Manchester or one of those sides. Any time I am training I would always put my mind to the training, do my best and train hard,” he said.
But the 20-year-old said there some detractors around who were of the opinion that Barbados and football would get you nowhere fast.
“You know how people say Barbados and football don’t get you nowhere and everybody don’t get a chance? You might be performing better than another player and scouts come and see that other player playing and he gets the contract or trial or whatever the case is and you get left out,” he explained.
The utility player, who prefers the center back position, said he began his football career in Class 4 while at Eden Lodge Primary after he was told he was too young in Class 3.
“I was Eden Lodge captain up until I went to Ellerslie. I also continued to play football and in first form, I was the Under-16 captain. In second form I moved from playing Under-16 to Under-19, and from there I saw the potential I have and football is my life now,” he said.
Holligan, who is better known as Rat Bite, said he played for Bellfield, Eden Stars, Mavericks, and is now comfortable at Empire. He has also been a part of both the Under-20 and Under-23 sides but never travelled before he was called up to the senior men’s national team.
“I thought it was more a favoritism thing because I always made the side but never made the team to travel. Last year, when I was on the Under-23 side I was to travel with the team to California, but I got in a little incident and I couldn’t travel,” he said disappointedly.
But first, he admitted that he needed to work on himself in order to get where he wanted.
“I’m not at the level that I really wanted to reach. I thought I would have been further by now. Everybody knows what I am capable of doing on the field, but I know I have to work on me too. A couple of years now I have been working on my attitude towards football. I could get hot-headed quick but Pappy talked to me and I’ve been trying,” he said.
Not one to be easily despondent, Rat Bite made a plan for 2020 to make the senior team with the hopes of propelling his football career forward.
“My career started with my first Premier League game. My performance was good and within the next two or three days I got a call from Coach Latapy saying he wanted me to come and train with the seniors. I was excited because before the year swing, that is all I was thinking about; to prove who I really am,” he said.
While COVID-19 caused his plans to grind to a screeching halt, the Thiago Silva fan said he was still focused on becoming better at his craft while pushing himself to the limit.
“Latapy is one of the coaches that I need in my life. The coaches here say the same thing over and over, just that it comes from different coaches. Now Latapy land, Barbados football change. I see our players getting better and better and we are going further and further in every competition,” he declared.
And for now, the Barcelona fan said his aim was to take it all one step at a time, and the Concacaf Gold Cup Qualifiers was on his radar.
“My dream was always to play football outside of Barbados, but I don’t know how I would get the chance. For now, I would stick with it and give it my all. I f I get that chance I won’t blow it. I can accept failure because everyone fails at something, but I can’t accept not trying,” he said.