BFA glory for Gibson
TEENAGED STRIKER Kyle Gibson created history on Saturday night when he became the youngest player to win the Reginald Haynes Footballer Of The Year award at the Barbados Football Association’s Awards Ceremony at Deighton Griffith Secondary School in which over $120 000 in prize money was distributed.
Gibson, 18, won the Outstanding Forward and Most Outstanding Player awards in both the 2010 Digicel Premier League and the Banks Knockout Cup competitions.
Among his prizes was a sunset cruise for two compliments Tall Ships, a dinner for two courtesy Elegant Hotels, a cellphone and credit from Digicel and prize money totalling $2 750.
He was the leading goalscorer in last year’s Premiership with 13 goals and also scored a hat-trick in the Knockout final against Ellerton to help his club, Claytons Kola Tonic Notre Dame, achieve the double crown and take home the combined earnings of $32 000.
“It is a very exciting experience so far, especially since I’m still very young and I’m looking to do it over and over again,” Gibson told NATIONSPORT.
Gibson, who will be representing the Barbados Defence Force (BDF) Sports Programme this season in the Division 1 competition, said he was happy with his performance last year.
“It was very great with clinical finishing on the goals and I would like to improve more on training to get fitter. Overall, I want to work hard on the mental and physical aspects of my game,” he said.
“It was a very good experience playing with those people who have played senior level and are more advanced in the game [because] you learn from them.”
The former St George Secondary student, who hails from Jessamy Avenue, Bayville, St Michael, said he had benefited greatly from advice given by senior members of the Notre Dame club such as president Sherlock Yarde, former coach Tony Jarvis, captain John Parris and coach Rodney Barker.
“When I scored my first goal, they told me don’t stop, keep trying and train even harder. My coach Rodney Barker would say he wanted me to score a goal in that game and I went out there and scored against Youth Milan with Norman Forde and those big guys who are ahead of me.
“The next game, he told me he wanted two goals and every game, he was telling me to step up. The next game, I scored three and then I scored four against Pinelands and a hat-trick against Youth Milan in the second round and in the Knockout final, I scored a hat-trick against Ellerton, so I was improving game by game,” Gibson noted.
Gibson, the son of former national basketballer Earl “Bird” Gibson, who was present at the ceremony, has his own way of focusing on the game.
“I just block out the fans who are trying to get you down and just listen to my coach. I don’t listen to the sideliners, I just play my game and try to finish my chances and score a lot of goals. Once you concentrate on your team and talk a lot on the field, you will be okay,” he said.
Having represented the Barbados Under-15 and Under-17 teams, Gibson said his goal was to play for the senior side.
“I’m looking forward to it at this young age because right now, everywhere in the world, the youth are making a mark in football,” Gibson said.