Ralph never imag­ined be­com­ing a foot­ball agent

The Star (Jamaica) - - Front Page - LIV­INGSTON SCOTT STAR Writer

Former Ja­maican in­ter­na­tional and Ja­maica’s fore­most FIFA play­ers’ agent, Da­mani Ralph, said dur­ing his play­ing days he never even imag­ined be­com­ing an agent.

But af­ter a ca­reer-end­ing knee in­jury forced him into early re­tire­ment in 2008, the former St Ge­orge’s Col­lege Man­ning Cup star said he took up an of­fer from his agent, Pa­trick McCabe, to be his un­der­study and he never looked back.

“The pas­sion to be­come an agent is some­thing I grew into. I never had it dur­ing the time I was play­ing,” he said.

“Ob­vi­ously, my ca­reer was short­ened due to an in­jury, and at the time I de­cided to go back to UCONN (Uni­ver­sity of Con­necti­cut) to fin­ish my de­gree, and while fin­ish­ing my de­gree I knew there was a chance I might never re­cover, be­cause I had done three surg­eries prior to that,” he noted dur­ing a live In­sta­gram in­ter­view on Fri­day.

Ralph, who scored a record 12 goals in his rookie sea­son for Chicago Fire, also spent three sea­sons in Rus­sia with Ruben Kazan. But a knee in­jury kept him on the side­lines for nearly three years, caus­ing him to call it quits in 2010.

How­ever, his rep­re­sen­ta­tive at the time, Pa­trick MaCabe, thought Ralph had a lot of pas­sion, a good per­son­al­ity and had build a lot of good re­la­tion­ship over the years in MSL, and pro­posed that Ralph shad­owed him for a few months and see if he liked the job.

“I took him up (on of­fer) and started do­ing it, and as the months went by I started think­ing that this is how I could im­pact the new gen­er­a­tion of kids that didn’t have the sup­port, and prob­a­bly need it to give them­selves a fight­ing chance. That led me to want to do it more on long term and for per­sonal rea­sons, be­cause we (Ja­maica) didn’t have a lot of ex­pe­ri­ence with good rep­re­sen­ta­tion. So that led me to be­come an agent,” he said.

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

The former MLS rookie of the year and vice-pres­i­dent of Stel­lar Group, an agency that fo­cuses on rep­re­sent­ing pro­fes­sional soc­cer play­ers, be­lieves play­ers must make the most of op­por­tu­ni­ties that come their way.

“If you have an op­por­tu­nity of go­ing to Europe from play­ing do­mes­ti­cally in Ja­maica, then you should cer­tainly take that op­por­tu­nity. Ev­ery­one is dif­fer­ent and you have to know what your end game is and what your de­sires are. Ev­ery­one’s jour­ney is dif­fer­ent but if there is a path­way for you, you should cer­tainly take it,” he stated.

How­ever, Ralph, who rep­re­sents a large num­ber of cur­rent Ja­maican in­ter­na­tion­als and is widely re­garded as the coun­try’s most suc­cess­ful FIFA agent to date, says de­spite their large clien­tèle, every client gets their full at­ten­tion and rep­re­sen­ta­tion.

“I think we have se­cured the best fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tion for every in­di­vid­ual or client, so it’s in­cum­bent on the client to get the job done on the field.

“But you might have a younger player that needs more time, and at this point in my ca­reer I don’t have that time, so it might best suit him to go to an­other agent that can put more time into that. But ev­ery­body gets enough ser­vices and it’s not just me, we work as a group and ev­ery­one does their thing to help with the clients,” he added.

FILE

Da­mani Ralph (right)

AP

Real Madrid’s Marcelo takes a knee as he cel­e­brates his goal dur­ing the Span­ish La Liga match be­tween Real Madrid and Eibar at Al­fredo di Ste­fano sta­dium in Madrid, Spain, Sun­day, June 14, 2020.

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