While following the footsteps of his older brother and role model, Darlton Bannis, at the tender age of six the thought of becoming the first professional footballer from Dominica, was never on the mind of Julian Wade.
Wade has signed a two-year contract with Trinidad-based football club Caledonia AIA, which has made him the first Dominican to play international football at a professional level.
In an interview with Dominica News Online Wade who is affectionately known as “JuJu” described the opportunity as his dream come true.
Wade’s opportunity came while vacationing with family members in Montserrat in 2011. While there, he received a chance to play for the Montserrat National Team in a friendly match against Joe Public team from Trinidad. Although the team lost the match 2-3 to Joe Public, Wade was noticed by the Caledonia team coach since he was responsible for scoring the two goals for the Montserrat team.
And as the old saying goes, the rest is history.
“I currently play striker/forwards with Caledonia and this is a position which can be described as the spotlight side of football. You are basically responsible for scoring goals and bringing victory to your team,” Juju told DNO.
He pointed out that the position comes with a lot of preassure since all games may not be good games.
“Sometimes you have bad games, and you do not score and everybody is expecting you to score, so it is a lot of preassure,” he said.
The young sportsman, from Roseau, began playing football at the Dominica Grammar School and then the Dominica State College becoming the captain of both teams. He also played for the National Under 15 and Under 20 Football teams and he represented the 4D Bath Estate premier football team before leaving for Trinidad to begin his contract on July 13.
Wade noted that every footballer wants the opportunity to play at a professional level and he is grateful for the opportunity. He said he aims to improve his skills and aim higher in the football world with his eyes set on the English Premier League.
He pointed out that there is a lot of room for improvement for football in Dominica. He noted that things should be put in place to make opportunities available for other talented players since there are international coaches looking for young players and the opportunities are always available.
Wade played his first CONCACAF Championship match for Caledonia AIA against Toluca from Mexico and came in the second half to score his first international and the lone goal for his team in a 3-1 defeat.
He advised other players that they should work hard, be dedicated, disciplined, and pray since these attributes are very important.
Wade, who is now in Dominica, will leave on Friday to return to Trinidad.