Barbados Goalkeeper Keasel Broome.
Broome staying in the bars for Barbados
With Barbados able to hold their heads aloft after a goalless draw in their second international friendly against Bermuda, the team looks to the future with upcoming assignments in the CONCACAF League of Nations later this year and early next year.
With the Barbados Football Association’s Technical Director Ahmed Mohamed working towards building the strongest team possible to see the challenge, the squad has already found the right fits in several departments, and one such slot filled is ‘goalkeeper’.
The Barbados Advocate was able to catch up with the national team’s first choice custodian Keasel Broome just before he headed back home to the US, and the second-generation Barbadian discussed his feelings about playing for the island.
“It’s unbelievable! It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do. I remember growing up, I used to email the BFA all the time. I used to send highlight tapes and resumés and stuff like that when I was younger and then, when I turned professional, I finally had a chance to represent so it was something that I’ve always been interested in and something that I wanted to do. Especially with my dad’s side of the family being from here, it is something that was always close to home so it’s an honour any time I’m called up,” he said.
Noting that he is based in the United States and was born ad raised in Delaware, Broome said that he has been playing since he was three years old. Speaking most highly about his father, who hails from the North of Barbados, Broome said that he was his first coach and helped to foster his love of the sport.
“I became a goalkeeper probably around age 11, age 12. Funny story. I had asthma growing up and I couldn’t keep up with the field players so they decided to stick me in goal and it kinda just stuck. As I got older, I loved the pressure of the position. I loved being able to make the save or being the hero in a sense. It’s always something that I have really enjoyed doing and I know that pressure comes with it, but I take it every time.”
Going into his fourth year as a professional player after getting started in 2015 with the New York Cosmos in the NASL, the Harrisburg City Islanders in 2016 and the Pittsburgh Riverhounds in 2017, the 26 year-old said that he is having the time of his life.
“It’s been fun! It’s a dream that I’ve always had and always wanted when I was growing up. Playing professionally is everything and all I ever wanted to do. It has given me an opportunity to see the world and see places I probably normally wouldn’t see if I wasn’t playing the sport, and I’ve made some great relationships along the way. I’m very blessed and happy to be where I am right now and I know the work is not done yet, but I have to keep going on to do well for Barbados and at the club level as well,” he said.
With his opening cap for the national team coming on June 10, 2015 against Aruba, Broome said that he would never forget that day.
“When I got the call that this was going to be my first game, I had endless nerves. I sweat when I’m nervous and I probably sweat 10 times more than I usually do, but it was great. It was a great experience. We went to Aruba and even down a man, we won 2-0 and to get a clean sheet in the first win, in the first game is something I will never forget. Ever since then, it has been a dream so far.”
Saying that he plans to play until he can no longer walk and that he intends to give his all to not only the team but the federation, he went on to say that coaching would be the next stage in his career.
“Coaching is something that I love to do. I’ve been coaching for the last couple of years at universities back in the States and I’ve also had my own goalkeeper academy back home that I do in my off-season for the younger kids – probably from about 9 to 16/17 – and it’s growing every year so I’m proud of that and it keeps getting better.
“To be honest, I would love to have something like that here. To have the youth keepers come out and run a session and really help develop the next wave of goalkeepers coming from Barbados. And hopefully, they can leave the island and go pro or even go to school in the States or overseas. I think that would be huge as well. Get that opportunity to get a good education and also see the world. Let football take you where you want to go.”
To the aspiring professional players, Broome’s advice was to be ready to take on the world.
“I would say to the youth, it’s a hard and long road. Once you get an opportunity, you have to take it but you have to be prepared to get that opportunity, and sometimes you don’t know when that phone call or that email or that opportunity is going to come, but you always have to be ready. And when it does, make sure that you blow the mind of whoever is watching. And always have fun when you are doing it. That’s the main thing,” he said.