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Fitzroy's boy gets Jamaica trial
SWINDON Town youngster Jake Simpson has been handed a trial by the Jamaica national under 20 squad ahead of their upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
Simpson, the son of former Town favourite Fitzroy, will jet out to the Caribbean on Monday for a six-day assessment under thw watchful eye of the junior Reggae Boyz coaches, Luciano Gama and Andrew Edwards.
The creative midfielder has been a part of the Swindon youth development set-up for more than a decade and his father, who represented Jamaica at full international level, was delighted Jake has earned the chance to fight for a place in the national team.
“It’s a trial for the squad building for their World Cup qualifiers and it will really help him add an extra dimension to his game,” Simpson, who played 130 times over the course of four years in Wiltshire, told the Advertiser. “He’s still only 17 and this will give him the chance to experience a different type of game and it can only help him as a footballer.
“This group of players plays against some pretty strong opposition, like Argentina and Mexico, so it’s exciting. He’s worked his socks off over the summer and it’s a massive year for his development.”
Simpson paid tribute to the work of centre of excellence director Jeremy Newton and head of youth Paul Bodin behind the scenes in helping Jake mature as a player.
And he noted how his son has trumped him by almost 10 years in terms of making his first step onto the international stage.
“I’m really pleased for Jeremy Newton, who has had Jake for 10 years at the club and we need to give a big thank you to him and to Paul Bodin,” he said.
“They are often the unsung heroes down there but things like this show how important what they do for the club is.
“Jake is always his own man and I’ve always looked to keep it that way. I’m very proud, it took me until the age of 26 to get international recognition.”