Heart of the Lion, the titan steel of Hyperion. Jeadine White, Sparta’s newest signing, embodies these tags in more than one dimension. The 19-year-old Jamaican has experienced in his young age what most in the business can only dream of.
Jeadine is playing in Jamaica’s Premier League with Humble Lion and has represented his country in an era of resurgence for the domestic game. With ambitions of plying his trade at the very top level, Sparta GK, who have graced the international stage with Jeadine, will be along for the ride.
The Jamaican’s formative years were quite typical growing up in Kingston, but one influence in particular was prominent in his homelife. He was very close to his Uncle Omar, who is currently the coach for Jeadine’s beloved Andrew Technical High School team.
“My uncle was actually the goalkeeper for the Jamaican beach football side.” Jeadine says.
“He always told me not to aspire to him and to be my own person and I did actually start as an attacking midfielder, but my uncle was definitely an inspiration. One game I ended up playing in goal and that was it.”
It wasn’t long before White was making waves in the schoolboy game and was invited to train with the country’s Under 17 side in 2012 as the youngest goalkeeper in the set up. Although not selected for the side, this was a driver for him in the future and a few years later at the tender age of 16, his career was about to take off.
“It was a really big time for me. I signed for Cavaliers in 2016 after they had just been relegated from the Premier League and I was part of the squad that won promotion back by winning the play offs.”
Despite helping his club side to promotion, White puts his performance for his high school team in the same year as an achievement of equal measure.
“The 2017 schoolboy tournament (Malling Cup) with I think was my break for the national team.” Jeadine reminisces.
“Although we didn’t win the competition, we got to the final for the first time in years and only lost to the reigning champions (Jamaica College). I saved two penalties in the Quarter-Final and that tournament was my big break; it got me recognisable in Jamaican football.”
White would also be a regular for Cavaliers in their return to the Premier League and it wasn’t long before his reputation in the schoolboy game and his performances caught the eye of Theodore Whitmore and was called up to the international squad for the friendly with Ecuador in September 2018.
White moved to Humble Lion of the Jamaican Premier League at the start of this season and would also go onto face the Champions League laden Keylor Navas in another international friendly against Costa Rica in March.
“That was really humbling. He came up to me and said ‘You’re only 18. Keep your head’.
“It was incredible to get advice from someone like that.”
Not only is he playing against world superstars, he has shared the pitch with the likes of Adrian Mariappa, Michael Hector and Daniel Johnson (and hopefully Leon Bailey in the near future) who have all had established careers in the English game.
“It’s always an honour to represent my country with high-profile players.” Jeadine beams.
“Their professionalism is something to model myself on and they always give me words of encouragement. They show everyone the same respect.”
Although not in the most recent senior squad, Jeadine has lofty ambitions for the future of himself and the ‘Reggae-Boyz’.
“We went up from 54 to 47 in the world rankings after scoring 10 goals in our last couple of games. The team definitely wants to qualify for the World Cup and are putting everything into it.
“From a personal perspective I would like to play in the top five leagues in Europe like anyone in my profession. My dream would be to play for my favourite team Manchester United.” (Might have to aim higher at this rate, Jeadine.)
So just how did the young starlet find himself on Sparta’s books, other than due to our international reach?
Coincidentally, Jeadine’s favourite Jamaican artist is named Sparta and as fate would have it, when he searched ‘best gloves in the business’ Sparta GK was one of the first hits.
“When I saw the page, I sent a resume to Chris, who replied pretty much immediately and was able to give me great customer service.” Jeadine said.
Starting with the Poseidon glove in July, Jeadine has since graduated to the shock yellow Hyperion, and has been enthused by both of the models he’s worn.
“The very first time I wore the Poseidon my coach asked if my gloves were giving me power!
“For the Jamaica Under 20’s we played a night game on wet astro-turf where the ball is slippy and skids around a lot. The Hyperion gave me the same response as if I was playing on the perfect pitch with a dry ball.
“The gloves have given me no difficulty whatsoever.” He added.
The future of Jamaican football is in safe hands and hopefully this is just the start of Sparta GK’s presence on the international platform.