April 18 2014 Latest news:
Friday, June 15, 2012
Norwich City striker Simeon Jackson is already planning for retirement after his professional playing career comes to an end in this country.
The 25-year-old made 26 appearances in the Canaries’ successful tilt at Premier League survival – including a goal in the final day cruise against Paul Lambert’s Aston Villa at Carrow Road. Jackson’s season only officially ended earlier this week after playing his part in two 2014 World Cup qualifiers for Canada.
The Canucks made an encouraging start to their next phase of qualification on the road to Brazil by picking up four points from games against Cuba and Honduras.
Jackson revealed he plans to fulfil a long-held dream next year when he sets up his first ‘soccer’ school in Southern Ontario. The striker recognises he is a role model for aspiring footballers in his homeland and wants to put something back into the game for the next generation.
The Jamaican-born frontman was also eligible to represent England at international level through his mother, but Jackson never had any doubts about pledging allegiance to the Canadian cause.
“I had nightmares about choosing which country to represent if the opportunity came along. When I first got the call-up to the under-20s for Canada, and putting on the jersey for the first time and getting that experience, it just made sense for me really,” he said.
“The country that we’re in is so beautiful.
“You have children that have more than one nationality, and it becomes tough if you get to a decent level of playing. I’ve always said it all depends on the individual and who they feel is right to play for. So you just have to leave it down to them. For me, I made the right decision – I’m happy with it.
“I want to help kids in Canada improve themselves, and get the opportunity to play in Europe and at the highest level through a soccer school, and maybe coaching when I’ve finished playing.”
Jackson’s route to the Premier League started in Sunday League circles after being released by Gillingham’s academy.
The striker’s Norwich goals have carved a special niche in the Canaries’ recent history – topped by the memorable header at Portsmouth that clinched promotion from the Championship in May 2011.
“That was an amazing feeling to score a goal like that and for a club like Norwich, too,” he said. “Getting into the Premier League is an amazing feat.
“My uncle and aunt originally got me into football. I didn’t want to play anything else, but it was difficult to break through. Chances were few and far between and more than one or two others slipped through the net.”