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Hard work paying off – Blake

Jamaica Gleaner / Jamaica’s senior team captain and outstanding custodian Andre Blake said that him been shortlisted for the CONCACAF Goalkeeper of the year and Player of the year awards is as a result of hard work and dedication.

The Philadelphia Union Major League Soccer number one was a standout for club and country over the past year, earning a lot of admirers for his positioning and shot-stopping displays.

“It is a good feeling as usual whenever you can be shortlisted for awards. I have been showing progress, going in the right direction in my career. This shows that my work is not going unnoticed and I try to use that as added motivation going forward,” Blake told The Gleaner yesterday, while visiting the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) offices in New Kingston.

“I will continue to keep pushing myself, keep working hard towards my goals,” he shared.

Looking back at the hand injury sustained during the Gold Cup final against hosts the United States of America (USA) last July, Blake admitted that it was a tough moment.

“It was a tough moment when I was injured in the final, I wanted to be on the ship until the end, unfortunately that was not the case. The injury kept me out longer than expected. I am back playing now, but my hand is still a little bit swollen,” the former Glenmuir and Clarendon College star said.

“The Gold Cup experience was tremendous, we had a lot of local guys in the squad and I commend the guys for that as they did a great job,” Blake said.

“It was a great run for me as I won the Golden Glove award for been the top goalkeeper during the tournament. To be the captain and be able to lead my team to the final is a great memory and something that I will cherish forever,” he added.

“It is just the hard work, the dedication, knowing what you want and deciding not to let anything distract you, so whenever you get the opportunity you can run with it,” the 27 year-old concluded.

Meanwhile, fans can have their say by visiting the fan page on CONCACAF.com

Voting is open for all categories until Wednesday, December 13.

Final votes in each of the 11 categories will be tallied and the winners announced via CONCACAF.com . The Male and Female CONCACAF Player of the Year awards will also be presented live at the fourth edition of the Premios Univision Deportes, on December 17, at 8 p.m.

Reggae Boyz coach Theodore Whitmore was shortlisted for the coach of the year award, defender Kemar Lawrence is in the running for a Male Best XI – Defender selection and Goal of the Year, while Odette Hamilton has been shortlisted for the female referee of the year awards.

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