Jamaica duo pass thanks for Gold Cup supportRoyals duo Garath McCleary and Michael Hector will be aiming to complete a remarkable piece of international history when they line up for Jamaica in the Gold Cup final against Mexico in the early hours of Monday morning UK time.
After topping Group B, the Reggae Boyz defeated Haiti 1-0 to secure a place in their first semi-final since 1998. That was followed up with a 2-1 win against hosts and tournament favourites USA whose line-up included the likes of Brad Guzan, Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey – booking a place in the final for the first time in the history of the competition.
Ahead of the meeting with Mexico in Philadelphia, winger McCleary got in touch with the club's media department to pass on their gratitude to Royals supporters for their support during their international adventure.
“I’m writing this whilst in the air from Atlanta to Philly where we’ll be playing the final,” McCleary wrote. “It’s been an amazing experience one I wouldn’t change one second of.
“Having been underdogs all the way through the competition, from being predicted to go out of the group stages with ‘2 points’, to reading that (somehow) only having an ‘11% chance’ of beating USA, we’ve surprised everyone – but not the people within the squad.
👊yesterday night was so emotional for me ❤️⚽️ to be beat 🇺🇸 in there back yard for the 1st time… https://t.co/kgsI2YOV0x— Michael Hector (@Big_Hec35) July 23, 2015
“From performances in the Copa America against some of the world’s best, a real belief and togetherness has been instilled. The first Caribbean country to make the Gold Cup final to beating USA on their turf for the first time, we’ve made the history books. But from the get go our intent was and still is to win the competition.
“I really hope now we are taken little more seriously in the world of football and can help change and help football grow in Jamaica.
“Mexico are another top international team but going into another game as the minnows our plan is to cause another upset.
“The messages from all you Royals fans and just football fans in general across the world haven’t gone unnoticed and we really feel the love so keep it coming and THANK YOU.
“Roll on the final...”
Royals supporters can watch the game as it happens live on BT Sport 2, kicking off at 12.30am BST on Monday 27th July.