Meyer grabs chance

2015-09-23 06:00
AIMING HIGH: Jarred Meyer is currently training with Jomo Cosmos, hoping to earn himself a professional contract. 

Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

AIMING HIGH: Jarred Meyer is currently training with Jomo Cosmos, hoping to earn himself a professional contract. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

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JARRED MEYER says this year’s Nedbank Ke Yona Team Search was his last shot at making it as a professional footballer after coming agonisingly close to realising his dream in the last few years.

He was formerly on the books of Bloemfontein Celtic’s ABC Motsepe League team and had been on the cusp of joining Free State Stars two years ago before a broken leg shattered those dreams.

Following his recovery he has completed a BA in General Management from the University of the Free State, but before he gives up on football entirely, he has one final chance to make it as a professional.

Meyer, who impressed at centre-back for the Ke Yona Team in their 2-0 loss to star-studded Nedbank Cup champions, Mamelodi Sundowns, has been drafted to join Jomo Cosmos for a month of training under the watchful eye of veteran coach Jomo Sono.

The 23-year-old believes it is the best possible fit for him to work with a coach who has unearthed so much talent for South Africa and a club where there is a realistic chance of quick movement up the pecking order.

“I am really glad that I am going to an established club where they give opportunities to young players,” Meyer says.

“Had I gone to what many might consider a bigger team, it could be that you spend two or three years before you get to play, but my ambition is to play now and I believe that if I can prove myself at Cosmos then the opportunity will come quickly. It is a more competitive situation for me,” he adds.

Meyer has been plying his trade at Bloemfontein side Bubchu United. He previously played for the University of the Free State in the popular Varsity Cup in 2013 and 2014.

Before joining Bubchu, he had been part of the Celtic third-tier setup, but thought his dream of a PSL career had come true when he started training with Free State Stars in 2013 and was offered a contract. That was until fate intervened.

“I broke my leg in training and saw that opportunity slip away. It was quite devastating, but I just said that I would complete my degree and take it from there.

“When I entered the Nedbank Ke Yona Team Search this year I said to myself this would be my last shot at a professional career. If this didn’t work out, I would pursue an alternative career,” he says.

Meyer is a former learner of Grey College, a school that has produced many international cricket and rugby players. But he said he had always felt the pull to soccer was greater.

“I played first-team cricket and soccer, but as I got older I gravitated more towards football. I think it was because it was a shorter game and you are more involved all of the time. I still love cricket though.

“I realised straight after I had signed for the Celtic ABC Motsepe League team and had been called up to train a number of times with the first team that I could make a career out of soccer. That feels really close now.”

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