Former T&T youth striker Jamal Gay is enjoying life in Finland, more so, his new position he now plays with Rovaniemen Palloseura (RoPS).
Head coach Juha Malinen were all to happy when he welcomed back his number one striker Soviet Union-born Finnish footballer Aleksandr Kokko into the team after a lengthy injury layoff. Which meant that, Jamal's position as number one striker were in jeopardy.
The Trinidadian international were snapped up as added coverage for the then injured Kokko, but Jamal too got injured shortly after signing with his new team and were temporarily shipped out to FC Santa Clause who plays in the third division to regain his fitness, it was a small injury which Jamal got over after one game. A move he didn't have to go, but agreed just to sharpen up on his fitness among other things.
The former Caledonia player returned to RoPS after his brief one game stint with the 3rd division team and with the return of Aleksandr Kokko, Jamal, was instructed to play on the right wing for his new team as the system played were mostly a 4-5-1 formation leaving coach Malinen no choice but to make changes to accommodate Jamal as he did not want to bench the talented marksman.
Jamal was moved out of position and placed on the wing. There, he had an instant impact and played a few games running the wing effectively and quickly cemented a permanent spot on RoPS first team.
Today, Jamal is at it again, he has now found a new place on the field in a defensive midfield position and seemed to have finally found a new home after an impressive debut in his new role.
"The coach didn't want to move me, but really had no choice as we needed help defensively."
"The coach told me that the players like that I can hold up ball very well and pass accurately, added Gay."
"While playing on the wing, I was not losing the ball as much as the others and I were taking on defenders too causing us to win free kicks, hence the reason I was foul 9 times around the box in one game."
"My team can play well but we are giving up easy goals and since fan favorite Kokko came back, the coach didn't want to put me on bench because he liked the way I play, so he told me to play on the wing. I tried it cause I want to play football and did pretty decent, but the goals against us kept coming through the center."
"Our coach needed to plug the defence and because of my built and my hold up play, he has decided to try me in the defensive midfield position."
"I played 90 mins yesterday against one of best teams in Finland- Helsingin Jalkapalloklubi (HJK) and had a really great performance. Even former Tottenham Hotspur, Sunderland, Red Bulls, Ajax and Auxerre midfielder Teemu Tainio who now ply his trade with HJK and is legend here told my coach after the game that I give him no chance to play his game and marked him off really well, he was impressed."
"During the past couple weeks I was tried in two different positions and I responded well. My coach also told me I shocked the 2,000+ fans who witnessed the game versus HJK, some of them was even saying: that this big guy can play midfield effectively, they applauded me after the game."
"The players are calling me Yaya Toure now (laugh...) and told me they prefer me there."
"When I was leaving the stadium a media guy congratulated me and said "great performance and we prefer you there now".
"Flex, maybe this is a beginning of new era in my career. "All I can say is, you never know this maybe a turning point in my football, I'll give it my best shot, I want to play and I will do anything asked just to be on the field, I love football."
"Coach said: its my new position now, ended Jamal."
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